My 8-year-old wants to shave her legs babycenter blog electricity laws physics


My heart goes out to you and your daughter both. When I was in 4th grade the kids started calling me a “hairy gorilla” because of the thick (for a girl) black hair that had always grown on my legs and arms–I dunno if it got more noticeable that year, or if the kids just got meaner, or what. To this day the memory makes me squirm.

I don’t think it occurred to me to ask if I could shave–my mom was cool about letting me do “grownup” stuff like wearing lipstick and nail polish if I felt like it, so I’m guessing she would have, but but none of the other little kids shaved. I do remember shaving for the first time when I was 12, and not liking the stubble afterward. I started shaving regularly at 14.

Your daughter will have to find her own path, as you have. It’s great that you talk to her about loving herself; you can also point out to her that if she doesn’t make a big deal out of her legs (as in by wearing long pants in humid heat!) it’s very unlikely that anybody else will notice. Eight is indeed too young to shave… but you might want to think about allowing it as soon as she goes to middle school. Being strong and standing up to peer pressure is one thing, but middle school is hellish enough without being forbidden from presenting herself in a way that will minimize how much she sticks out.

I was in 5th grade I think it was when or maybe earlier I cant remember but it was young. I did it behind my mothers back. I too had very fuzzy legs and long hair that was noticeable ad my aunt who I was around alot pointed them out. I always knew they were hairy but I didnt know if maybe it was just me and no one else could notice. Once she noticed I stopped wearing shorts that summer. She mentioned to my mom about having me shave but my mom was like over the top against it and said we (mysister and I) couldnt shave untill we got our period. I find that to be such a silly rule so I did it behind her back. Something I would never want my daughter to do. I would like to teach her how to properly do it and get her some better razors for her delicate skin , then the disposables I took from my mom. Of course shortly after (maybe a year) I got my period anyways and so it wasnt a secret anymore and when my mom mentioned showing me how to shave I told her I had been shaving regularly already for about a year. The first of many shocks I hit my mom with. Should have seen the look of shock when I asked for tampons and told her I had been using them at school for gym and getting them from the school nurse. Of course she said she thought you couldnt use tampons if your a virgin and accused me of not being one in the 8th grade!! That was pretty funny.

Being hairy wasn’t really a youthful worry for me – but only because I developed boobs early. And while you can’t really fix the uncomfortable breast problem in the same way as the hairy legs issue, I do remember so very vividly the teasing I endured because of them, and it breaks my heart that any little girl would have to go through that. I really, really hate that a little girl – who shouldn’t have to worry about her appearance – should want to participate in such an adult grooming activity to feel accepted, I can fully appreciate that a little girl’s self-confidence is not necessarily going to be enhanced by enduring teasing. I don’t have girls, but I think that if I did, I would try to do as you did, Amy; talk to her first, try to get her to realise she is wonderful as she is, but allow her to begin depilation if her angst continued. As with any problem, different solutions will suit different children best. The desired result is just a healthy, happy child, who grows into a healthy, happy adult. Talking is key – I wish my own mother had talked to me about my self-consciousness regarding my boobs; everything was ignored in the hope it would go away in my house, which never solves anything.

I wasn’t allowed to shave until I was in the 7th grade, and that was with my mom’s old Lady Remington electric razor. I realized early on that my mom and I both share a higher level of testosterone, so the hair on our legs is naturally darker than other women’s. Unfortunately for me, the hair on my arms was darker to, and by 15 I was shaving it off, too. I attended a private Christian school in 7th/8th grade, and the kids there were ruthless and immature. I realize you’ve received almost 50 other comments, but take it from one of the younger moms-to-be: let her do it. I mean, yeah, she’s 8, but complexes developed this early don’t usually go away as easily as some people think. I’ve been there, and being different is hard enough already, but when you have soon-to-be “perfect” Asian girls pointing out your flaws? Omg. I feel inferior to them even now, because 90% of them are petite and flawless. I know it’s superficial, but that’s the way it works, doesn’t it? If you’re concerned about her using a razor unsupervised, get some of the Nair for your face. It’s gentler and probably won’t smell as bad, and you won’t have to worry about those awkward pricklies. I hope this helps =)