Friday, August 15, 2008

A Very Hairy Issue

***Note: If you are a guy friend or one of my parents, this blog might contain Too Much Information for your comfort.***

Before I begin my rant, let me just state for the record that I am not a mother. But I am a woman, and I was, at one time, a preteen and teenaged girl. Middle school? Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. And the scars.

I started shaving my legs for the same reason all girls do--my friends were doing it. I was eleven or twelve, I guess. It wasn't a life-altering event (my period was a much bigger deal, obviously), but it was one transformation that took me from a little girl with a fine down on her legs to a young woman--smooth and, occasionally, nicked.

As an adult, I've become what seems sometimes like the lone holdout against bikini waxing. Hey, I'm all for keeping things tidy "down there" but I am not about to let a stranger--I don't care how professional--drip hot wax down there and rip paper off of my hoohah. It seems so completely unnecessary and painful. The only waxing I've ever had done was my eyebrows, and even then, the upkeep is so crazy, I ended up buying a little razor thing designed especially for eyebrows. Works for me, and it's a hell of a lot cheaper than the going rate at a salon.

I'm fortunate in that my body hair is light in color, and not too thick. I've never been self-concious about it. I don't shave my legs every day, but every other day, or every three days when I'm especially lazy. I moistuize and keep my skin nice, and somehow, I stay looking nice.

But it seems I am surrounded by a world that has gone Brazilian-mad. It seems every Glamour I read talks about waxing, plucking, shaving and, in general, keeping our feminine bodies as free of unsightly hair as possible. I'm sorry, folks, but if a man decides he doesn't want to be with me because I'm not baby-girl bald "down there," well, he wasn't right for me in the first place.

Am I right?!

So, what got me all riled up about body hair?

Oh, just the MSNBC article I read about how the age for waxing is going down...way down. Girls as young as six years old are getting waxed--including in the pubic region.

Some salons even advertise their services for young girls. One New York City salon, Wanda’s European Skin Care Center, boasts on its Web site that children 8 years and older can get discounted waxing for "virgin" hair. "Virgin hair can be waxed so successfully that growth can be permanently stopped in just 2 to 6 sessions. Save your child a lifetime of waxing ... and put the money in the bank for her college education instead!" the salon proclaims.

"I had a mother who brought her daughter in, pulled up her shirt and asked us to wax the girl’s back. The hair didn’t seem to be bothering the little girl, but the mom was embarrassed and wanted it done," Fisher recounted. "I told the mom to wait until the child wanted it, but she refused." The girl, Fisher added, was 6 years old.

I can't be the only one who feels that this is akin to child abuse!

Children are not dolls. Sure, it's fun to dress them in cute clothes, and to braid their hair and put ribbons in it. But a mother being embarassed by her daughter's "hairy back?" At age six? It seems to me that the problem is in the mother, not the child. And the child will suffer for her mother's issues.

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