Monday, November 10, 2008

how many comments can i get today?

Last night, around 7:pm . . .

li'l ~j.: Mom, I know we've talked about this before, but can I shave my legs?

~j.: You really want to? [I've been skillfully dodging answering this question over the past few months.]

li'l ~j.: Yes! My friend asked me if I shave then looked at my legs. Mom, I was so embarrassed. Look, I have so much hair.

~j.: Mmm. [She does. Just like her mama.] [And her tia.] [What? I'm not being mean.] Well, do any of your other friends shave?

li'l ~j.: YES, Mom. Most of them do. I feel like I'm the only one who doesn't.

~j.: Wow.

li'l ~j.: So . . . can I?

~j.: [Deep breath] I'll . . . uh . . . let me think about it. Actually, you know what? I'll let you know on Tuesday.

li'l ~j.: Tuesday? Because you have so much to do tonight?

~j.: Yeah.

li'l ~j.: Okay, Mom.

Darin: Why Tuesday?

~j: Because I have to ask the bloggers.

Darin: The bloggers? You're going to let the bloggers decide when our daughter starts shaving?

~j: No, but the blog world is filled with moms who have older daughters and who have been through this, or ladies who themselves started shaving at some point. Presumably, anyway. Also, guys know ladies they can ask . . . Just to see what's going on out there these days.

And so here we are, friends.

When did you start shaving your legs?
Or, at what age did your daughter start?
Or your mom?
Or the lady at work?
Or your sister?
For these matters,
maybe I should just

42 comments:

AzĂșcar said...

I begggggged my mom to let me start shaving at 11. She refused. I did it anyway. It was a couple months before my 12th birthday. Yes, I had a crush on a boy and wanted him to think I was old enough to be crush-worthy.

If it makes you feel better, I stopped shaving them in High school when I went through my feminist-anti-patriarchy phase. Did wonders for my dating life (snerk.)

amanda said...

I started when I was in 6th grade. I didn't ask permission or anything, I just did it. That's nice that she actually asked you if she could.

Queen Scarlett said...

I think when they ask - they notice...and they want to...

I think I was 12 or 13. My Mom wouldn't tell me anything about it, or help me...but it was getting to the point... so I tried scissors and I snuck my dad's crappy disposable razors... it left a hack job on my legs. I wished...my mom was with me every step of the way. I swore to myself that I would be there for my girls come that time.

Come to think of it... I don't think my Mom started shaving until I did... and even then... different generation/culture... I dunno.

I figure - if she's coming to you - what a perfect opportunity to set the tone for the rest of it...but then again - mine are not grown yet. ;-) I just have wishes of what I wish I had.

ash said...

I had the exact same experience when I was 11 and went to my mom for help. She was awesome about it. It really was good mother/daughter bonding, but it helped me realize I could go to her with other "stuff" later on.

Go for it.

compulsive writer said...

I truly have no idea. All I know is if you wait too long to give permission something like this may happen.

Good luck!

jennie w. said...

As soon as my daughter asked I told her it was fine. She was 12. What's wrong with letting her shave her legs? Unless she's under 10 I think it would be fine.

You want her to think you are reasonable so that when she asks to get her ears double pierced or wear a lot of make-up she won't think you're unreasonable; The lady who always says no.

Annette Lyon said...

Leg shaving doesn't strike me as nearly as big a deal as wearing make-up or other things that are more visible. If she wants to do it, I wouldn't stop her--there are far bigger battles ahead you'll need to fight, I'm sure.

Oh, and I started shaving around 13. Don't think I asked permission, either.

Gerb said...

I'm a late-bloomer (still waiting for some things...) and probably didn't start shaving until high school. My oldest daughter started when she was 11 because she needed to. Next daughter is 12 and doesn't need to yet (late bloomer like her mom). I gave the oldest "shaving lessons" and it's been peachy.

sarah said...

I was 12 and did it on my own without talking to my mom. we never talked about stuff like that and i didn't know how to do it but figured it out. you should help her. it's nice that she came to you and a nice chance to bond.

swampbaby said...

I was in 6th grade, when I turned 12 years old. I about died of embarassment because one of my birthday gifts from my mom had a pack of razors in it. She thought I'd be excited, but I was mortified, even though I wanted to shave.

Emily said...

I was 8 years old and my mom told me that I was going to start shaving my legs...I had tons of long black hair and it was sick to look at. I hated it, but I am still glad that she helped me make the step. I think if your daughter wants to do it because she has lots of hair on her legs that is fine...it when the little girls with hardly any BLOND hair on their legs starts early...that is so stupid. YOu will have to shave for the rest of your life...don't start until you need to. But if she needs to...don't punish her because she is too young...

lisa said...

This has begun in my house (quite awhile ago actually) and Maizie and Lil~j are the same age. I think Mic was in 5th grade so I'm holding out til then. Just make the decision and then tell her a definite time so she has something to say like "My mom won't let me until I'm ten," or something like that. (Remind me to tell you about when my oldest daughter shaved her ARMS sometime?!?)

wendysue said...

I have a feeling I'll be in this situation soon with my oldest. . .she's almost at the "needs to" stage. So, I'd say, if it's bothering her, why not?

bonz said...

The last day of 6th grade, for an end of the year pool partay. And I missed enormous patches.

Mona said...

I believe my mom agreed when I turned 12, although I remember sneaking and shaving just a patch before I turned 12 just to see how it felt.

cabesh said...

My mom said I had to be 14 to shave, wear nylons and make-up. Because that's when I'd start going to dances. I was mortified most of the time.

When I was in 7th grade my dad looked at my legs one day and told my mom, "Let her shave!" I was 3 months shy of 13. It think 7th grade is a good age.

P.S. My word verification is belch. No joke.

leschornmom said...

I am so dealing with this right now!
I have no idea what to do. Only for me it's not pier presser but Mommy pressure. My girls could care less! I don't like how hairy their legs are. John and I have talked about it but I don't know what the right thing to do is. I mean I have friends that didn't let their daughters shave until 12-14 years old. But to be honest it's just bugging me.
Let me know what you decide.

i i eee said...

I hit puberty shortly after I turned 10. Then I started shaving a few months later. I think it depends on the girl. I mean, if I was ready to start shaving my underarms, I was ready to shave my legs.

L. Mo said...

I started shaving my legs when I was in grade school, not sure how old I was. I didn't ask my mom, I had three older sisters and there were always razors in the bathroom.

li'l-j is only three days older than my "Lil" and in the same class. My "Lil" has yet to ask me about shaving but she did recently ask me when I got my first bra. I guess I had better get ready for it.

My thoughts are- if you don't mind her starting to shave then you teach her. If you are not ready for her to start then give her a date to start, something she can look forward to.

Good luck and thanks for the heads up.

b. said...

Is that why you called on Saturday?
I'm really hoping you'll call back!

Sissy G. kept asking and asking and I kept avoiding and avoiding (she totally did not need to shave and I didn't want her to start the whole annoying process). Til one day I was rubbing her leg and it was all silky smooth. She told me her friend showed her how to do it and she had been shaving them for months.
I missed out on that moment

wendy said...

I don't remember if it was 6th or 7th grade for me, but for my future daughter, I wouldn't feel bad letting her start in 6th grade.

Em-Cat said...

My opinion...let the poor girl shave her legs. My mom had this "Not until your 12" rule and I can't tell you how embarrassing it got for me. I was so hairy that I was teased about it every time I wore shorts or a dress without tights. It got to the point that in the dead of summer I would rather wear long pants...not normal for a 10 or 11 year old who loved to be playing outside all day every day during the summer. Mom stood her ground until one day I had saved up enough babysitting money to buy my own razor, so I made sure I went to the store with my dad and I bought myself one behind my mother's back - hey, it was my own money! Dad didn't think twice about it.

When I got home with my prize, my mom didn't really object, because I didn't buy it with her money, she just got mad at my dad for not stopping me...So my point is - let her do it before it gets so embarrassing that she does it behind your back...believe me - she'll find a way.

Rachel Z said...

i agree, make this a pleasant and comfortable experience and it'll make coming to you about other, more awkward stuff easier. besides, she'll probably lose interest in shaving her legs after a while (don't we all?).

but feel free to throw in some comments like "we don't start doing things just because everyone else does" (maybe like drinking?) or "your friends aren't your friends because of what you look like" all while teaching her that dress and grooming and femininity are important.

Mary Beth said...

well what a fun topic! I was a miserable tween. I want to keep Lydia 2 forever.

So, I think I was 10 or 11 when I started shaving my legs and I'm pretty sure it was earlier than both my sisters were when they started because I was the third and sort of spoiled.

Good luck with that!

Amber said...

Hey girlie...I was in the 6th grade. I don't remember how old I was, but I do remember the grade I was in. My mom actually told me I could. I was really out of it when it came to those things when I was younger. Nowadays girls are doing things so much sooner though. That is going to be a hard call. What did you decide? Can she handle it without cutting herself too much?

carblemarble said...

6th grade and I just did it. I was told no, no... and one day I said to myself YES!

sue-donym said...

As soon as she asked, I let her. No reason for her to ever be embarrassed about something preventable, I say.

Geo said...

I never asked permission that I can remember. My mom had a ladies' electric razor, which at the time I thought was a really cool and grownup solution, and when she was out of hearing range, I gave it a go.

I say if she's feeling bugged and she's actually asking you, then it's probably time.

Would you think it was a cruel and unusual option to suggest waxing or sugaring? Lasts longer, and the hair grows back soft, in case this is a false alarm and she stops wanting to shave for a while.

Okay, never mind. Pain, even the for beauty kind, is not what girlettes are interested in, right?

Dexter's Girl said...

Verification: harrit. How appropriate.

Um... poor lil j. Does she have to grow up already. She seems so young, but if it's time...

Prevent the humiliation is my vote.

Kalli Ko said...

I don't remember a specific age, but it was pretty much just when I noticed. I say if she's aware of it than she's probably ready.

MOMster said...

I think I was about 15 but it wasn't because I have hair, but because I was the only girl in the entire state that wasn't shaving her legs yet. Sad, yes. On the upside, I only had to shave once every two weeks, at least for a few years. Now it's every other day.

Kaerlig said...

It was 6th grade. There was some trendy thing going on about smooth lotioned up legs. Even the boys lotioned their legs minus the shaving.

Didn't ask my mom.

May have used my dad's razor.

compulsive writer said...

Geo--what in heaven's name is sugaring?

AzĂșcar said...

Sugaring is like waxing, but you use a melted sugar instead.

Don't worry, it hurts just the same.

Tana said...

I let my daughter shave as soon as she asked because she is such a little tomboy, I was so glad to have something girly to teach her. She was 10. And she still shaves. Leaves a big mess in the tub and doesn't get all the hair on the back of her legs. So in hindsight. I would say 12. What else is there to look forward to besides YM?

Shar said...

I started in 6th grade. I think. And I didn't even ask because I didn't have a good mother/daughter relationship. Still don't.

I think it's great that she comes and talks to you. I hope my daughters do one day!

Rynell said...

I shaved at 9. Early bloomer. My daughter is 9 now and I've encouraged her not to shave yet.

Lucrecia said...

Wow, you have a ton of readers! I say just let her shave. I had really dark hairy legs as a girl and it was so embarrassing. My parents wouldn't let me shave forever. I really hated dealing with that.

La Yen said...

Jos taught Tia Juju how to shave. Because he was on the water polo team.

The Lewis Family said...

My mom had nightmares of bloody legs from razor nicks and so made me wax the first time... and she wasn't so good about reading directions, so it was quite tramautic, left broken blood vessels, all that.

So shave or don't shave but whatever you do, don't wax :)

ps, if you are razor scared, buy her an electric shaver that men use on their faces. Seriously, it feels so nice on the skin cuts down almost as well as a bic... though you will most likely have to shave more often since it isn't as close, depending on the brand, and yes, no worries of razor nics :) if it is just a rite of passage thing, then it is your call to when you are comfortable.
~C

Shelly said...

My parents wouldn't let me until I was 12 but Kailey has asked if she could and I have let her. I think it is a maturity thing.

Dexter's Girl said...

so ... i'm wondering what the decision was but I'd understand if you aren't sharing. :) I made dex read this posts as it brought me to the realization that we aren't really that far from the same situation. ugh.