My daughter is developing a weird complex. Help!

My daughter is 8 years old. She is a normal, healthy, beautiful child. The problem? She’s decided that she’ll no longer wear shorts. Because it’s been really hot here a few times lately, I asked her why she wouldn’t wear them, and she responded by bursting into tears and saying that she was totally embarrassed by her hairy legs. :confused: I honestly don’t get it. She’s 8! Her leg hair is nothing more than little girl peach fuzz. I tried to assure her of this, and she assures me that all of her friends at school shave their legs. Dear god, I hope not. They’re 2nd graders, for God’s sake!

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what might be causing this, or how I can deal with this. There really isn’t any reason for her to be shaving her legs yet, and I don’t want her handling a razor either. Harborwolf thinks I should deter her by waxing her legs just once :eek:

…Let her not have to wear shorts.

I hate wearing shorts. I can count on two hands the number of times that I’ve worn shorts in public since I was 10 years old.

My guess is that some horrible child teased her about her non-existant leg-hair just to be mean.

Someone teased my sister about the peachfuzz on her face when she was 13, and she has been shaving her face ever since.

But then, she’s a neurotic freak … but people truly can be cruel.

It sounds like a bit of a confidence issue, as well. Have you thought about putting her in karate or dance?

Waxing simply pulls the hair out at the roots, causing it to grow back darker and thicker than before. And it hurts like hell.

I’ve got it, cut the kid in half[/Uncle Duke]

Okay, maybe not so drastic. You need to put yourself in your daughter’s shorts. It is a big deal for her and she feels like an outsider. I’m not saying to turn your life upside down over it but offer a compromise. Would you be okay with her using a battery powered wet shaver? Let her get one but stipulate that it comes out of her own allowance. I’ll bet it is forgotten in a few weeks but use it as a reminder next time she has an urge to follow the next schoolyard fad.

Your sister shaves her face? Weird.

Anyway, I work with second graders at a summer camp, and I don’t think any of the girls shave their legs. If your daughter doesn’t want to wear shorts, she can just wear a long skirt or some light pants. I hate shorts anyway, because most of them are just too…short. If I knew which fashionista decided that bermuda shorts would be in fashion this summer, I’d write them a thank you note, because I was able to buy a couple pairs of nice long shorts.

I agree with the electric razor suggestion. If the other girls are teasing her about leg hair, it really won’t do her any harm to shave it, and if it lets her fit in in this small way I think it is worth it. I remember how much it meant to be like the other girls at that age. If she wanted to do something dangerous or immoral of course I wouldn’t let others’ opinions matter, but for something like this I think I would let her. At this age it’s probably more like a fad among the girls than a real necessity. We used to wear lip gloss to feel grown up. I bet you this was started by one popular girl imitating her older sister or something.


It’s not so much about the shorts as it’s about her confidence. I don’t want her to feel funny about her nonexistant hair, and not want to go to the beach or pool either. She loves going to the beach, and I don’t want this thing to prevent her from doing things she loves.
As for her shaving her legs, I’m not comfortable with her using a razor on herself at this age. An electric shaver might be okay, but why should she have to start this nonsenical hair removal when she’s only 8? I’ll talk to her more about it. Thanks for the input, everyone.

Honestly, it baffles me that we still carry this idiot notion that women are “supposed to shave.” Effing lunacy. I can count the number of times I’ve shaved my legs on two hands, and I have very heavy leg hair.

My initial thought is to put your foot down and tell her that she’s a) far too young and b) under no obligation to be hair-free because she’s a female.

That being all well and good, I do recognize that she’s 8 and peer pressure and blah blah blah. Could you perhaps use a depilatory cream on her legs, or let her do it under careful supervision? They make them for sensitive skin now, which is probably the safest bet since she’s so young. It would be an alternative to the razor, and the mere smell of Nair might turn her off to it altogether. If that isn’t an option, I’ve seen products that look like little loofah pads – supposedly you can rub them on the leg and the friction removes the hair. Not sure if they work well, if at all, but that’s another thing you perhaps could try. My other thought was [and this may not work at all, it just crossed my mind] could a little sunless tanning lotion or concealer rubbed on her legs lighten/darken the hair to where it’s not as noticable?

Bah. 8-years-old and having to be upset about natural body hair. Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, arcane bullshit.

wanders off grumbling

Are you sure she doesn’t need it? Are you sure it’s just peachfuzz? I started wearing a bra when I was 8, had to start shaving my legs when I was 8½, and started having periods when I was 9.

And that was in 1966-67…I hear tell girls are maturing even earlier now.

Take a good, objective look at her and decide if it is just a weird complex or if puberty is here, ready or not.

Either way, she can always stop it at any time. She may very soon reailze the chore of shaving is worse than the peachfuzz and teasing.

Um, that link you provided is about shaving. I was talking about waxing.

I’m torn about this one.

First of all, I was NOT allowed to shave when I was young. It got me made a lot of fun of, I can tell you.

Secondly, when it was my time I was 13! That’s a big difference from 8. I was a huge tomboy anyway, so I didn’t notice so much.

I’m afraid I don’t have too much advice for you. I’d like to advice staying away from any sort of hair removal for a few more years if you can. I mean, she’s probably going to end up doing that all her life! Give her a few more years to be a kid if you can.

Just be gentle when you handle her ego, egos at that age can be fragile.

Same thing. In fact, waxing can eventually damage the hair follicle enough that it won’t grow back so quickly, and the tips will be softer since they weren’t chopped off by shaving, making them blunt and scratchy. So stubble is nicer.

I was digging for a cite, but what Ferret Herder said is correct. No nonpermanent hair removal technique [shaving/waxing/depils] makes the hair grow back in thicker or darker.

If it did, why wouldn’t balding men do it?

This is from snopes. It’s only about shaving, but I don’t believe any of these methods make the hair grow back thicker or darker. I’ve tried most of them.

::cheers for chatelaine::

Let’s hear it for girl-hairs!

Hee, thank you, AHunter3! Honestly, you’d be surprised at the comments I’ve gotten on my leg hair from total strangers. A few months ago, I was wearing track pants with the legs that unzip high to reveal a kind of mesh/fishnet, and I guess it was apparent that I don’t shave. A lady in line behind me at CVS took it upon herself to loudly remark to her friend how disgusting my legs were. W.T.F.

</rambling hijack>

Alias, do you shave your legs? If so it’ll be hard to justify to her why she shouldn’t, if she’s starting to feel a little grown-up. You could make a deal with her - let’s see who can go the longest without shaving her legs?

Oh, and ignore that stuff about “everyone’s doing it”; it’s always wrong. It usually means everyone’s talking about it and maybe one person is actually doing it

I kinda suspect that by the time she starts filling out a bikini the whole thing will go by the board! You’ll be trying to talk her out of shorts, not into them.

This is a very good point, and I’m intrigued about the answer.

Well, you do get more ingrown hairs with waxing…OUCH!!