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Virgin Bikini Waxing: Not Just For Mommies Anymore

Pauline Campos's picture

There’s a reason I don’t watch the news. And it has a lot to do with not putting myself in a bad mood while eating my Cheerios when news sources report that 12-year-olds are getting bikini waxes.

It’s been awhile, but I’m pretty sure that when I was 12 I had just enough hair down there to be embarrassed by my changing body, but not enough to warrant a Brazilian. And I’m also pretty sure my parents would have looked at me like I was crazy had I been aware enough about adult female waxing rituals and asked for one. But according to a recently reported Good Morning America story, times are a’changing. Not only are beauty salons advertising things like “virgin bikini waxes” for the prepubescent (the theory being that waxing now reduces what comes in later), but enough mothers are buying into the trend to warrant news coverage. Botox Mom, anyone?

I’m not a perfect mother. I freely admit this. But I gotta tell ya. . . I feel pretty good about my parental high horse when I say that there’s no way on earth I would ever allow my daughter to visit a beauty shop for anything other than a pretty shade of light pink on her toenails, because a virgin bikini wax is just not going to happen.

Ever.

But then again, "not being allowed" is a pretty far cry from "Mommy Made Me Do It", don’t ya think?

Puberty Stinks

Lissa has a fantastic book about everything and anything you ever wanted to know about your vagina. Maybe you’ve heard of it? And, interestingly enough, the hair so many of us voluntarily choose to shave off, wax off, or otherwise remove from our bodies is (and get this…) actually supposed to be there. Now, what you do with your va-jay-jay and your pubic hair is your business, and I’m not going to judge. But you get a free pass because you’re an adult and have earned the right to make decisions like that.

I will, however, raise a questioning eyebrow at the mother (or father) who, obviously forgetting what the mind game of being 12-years-old is actually like, takes it upon her or himself to give their little girl another reason to feel self-conscious by suggesting something as ludicrous as a bikini wax. (Side note for the emotionally scarred and formerly hairy teenagers reading this: I realize there are exceptions to every rule. Hell, I was wearing a B-cup when I was eight so a pre-teen with an actual need for a bit of a trim down there to help avoid swim class embarrassment doesn’t surprise me. Me and my eyebrow have a problem with the idea of a virgin wax done solely for the purpose of reducing what grows in the future.) Last time I checked, kids can be cruel. Our own children certainly don’t need to fear parental judgment regarding their bodies. And they definitely don’t need us booking a bikini wax for them and driving them to the appointment, unless the therapist has already been booked for that afternoon and that’s your next stop.

Let’s Keep Our Own Hang-Ups to Ourselves

Think you have to lose five pounds before you can be seen in public in a bathing suit? Wearing jogging pants to bed tonight because you didn’t feel like shaving your lady bits while in the shower today?

Fine. And fine. I happen to think my frizzy curls (clarification: on my head. . .) are hideous but spend as much time as I can telling my daughter how much I love her ringlets. Why? Because I came upon my hang-ups the good old-fashioned way as I grew into an overly self-critical adult and not because my mother booked Mommy and Me bikini waxes and called it “bonding.”

Little girls (and young boys) need only to turn on the TV to bombard themselves with societal expectations regarding the human body. “You Must” and “You Should” is thrown at them at every turn regarding their bodies and the hair on their heads. And yet, there are parents who are encouraging their daughters to go bare down there before anything has even grown in for the sake of hopefully reducing the amount of hair and associated thickness as they grow into adults. And these are the little girls who will grow into the adult women who will probably wonder why Mommy told them they had to go get a Brazilian after dinner but before they could get on Facebook with their equally socially awkward best friends to message each other about how they’ll let their own children make up their own minds about waxing their vaginas one day.

What do you think, ladies? Let’s discuss in the comments.

Pauline is the founder of Girl Body Pride & blogs at Aspiring Mama. Find her at about.me/paulinecampos

Comments

S's picture

Piercing parlors won't give

Piercing parlors won't give anyone under age 18 a piercing without parental permission. Even with permission from a parent though, they won't do genital piercings on minors. Part of this is because of the permanent nature of piercings, but a lot of this has to do with potential accusations of sexually abusing a minor and subsequent legal ramifications.

That's how I'm seeing this virgin waxing business. To me, being under the age of consent includes being too young to give permission for the intimate touching required for waxing. Like my piercing example, I don't think a parent can give consent in the child's stead. I think the waxing parlors that are doing these services on minors are setting themselves up for legal problems.

Now, I'm fine with the idea of waxing as an adult if you want to. I think parents who are taking their daughters in for waxing services are not trying to hurt them in any way. Maybe they view waxing as an important part of their hygiene and view it like brushing your teeth? I don't know. I'm just surprised that the salons are not doing more to cover their asses (no pun intended).

Billy Shears's picture

I realize you have invited

I realize you have invited women to join you in scorning other women who subject their daughters to this type of abuse. I offer my support if you will have it, but I also think our greatest contempt should be directed at the assortment of pornmeisters, pedophiles, and terminally adolescent men who think the end result of this process is erotic in any sense.

H.C. Palmquist's picture

Psychosis of the mother visited on the child

I'm making the assumption that any mother who sets up this kind of appointment for her daughter still has hang-ups about her own body and is trying to mold her daughter into something she wishes she was.

I got boobs at 9, my period at 10 and hair down there around the same time. The first time it grew in, I was horrified! I didn't want to be a grown up, so I shaved it off (I was shaving my legs by then due to puberty hitting). I cannot describe the ITCHING when it grew back in!!! That alone was enough to keep the razor away from that area until I was in my 20's.

We need to send the message to all that we need to be a society of acceptance. And that needs to start with ourselves. Then again, with businesses like A&F selling padded string bikinis for 6 year olds, is it any surprise 12 year olds are being given bikini waxes.

Pauline Campos's picture

Wishful thinking

I totally agree, H.C. very well stated and great points. What seems to be happening is that every time a new story likes this hits the news, we all have our jaws hit the floor thinking no one can top what just happened. Until the next news story hits. Let's see...padded bikini tops for first-graders, bikini waxes for sixth-graders...

Oy vey...

I'm not going to ask the obvious. I'll just be ready to write about it when it happens.

Pauline is the founder of Girl Body Pride & blogs at Aspiring Mama. Find her at about.me/paulinecampos

zsuzsi fern's picture

this makes me sad!

i have noticed more and more the trend of a hair free pubic region with girls and women of all ages. it disturbs me because it does seem to send the "little girl" image to men. its just weird! i think this new trend has a lot to do with porn and media. women in these industries have little and mostly no hair ANYWHERE, except their head- where it's almost always long. it is completely unnatural and it totally sends the wrong image to young and old women alike. again, it goes back to the "perfect body image" that most women cannot attain. i have tried all forms of hair removal in all areas (including a full brazilian wax- OUCH!) and mostly, i just have learned to love my sometimes hairy legs, armpits and pubic area. in the summer i remove hair at least once a week, in the winter, forget it, once a month probably! my boyfriend thought it was strange at first, but, i told him, "i'm human, i have hair, love it or leave it!" he loves me and now accepts my non-shaving habits. women need to stop caring so much what other people think

Pauline Campos's picture

Makes me sad, too

The wrong message is definitely what is being sent and our children are suffering for it. And yes...it's hard but we do need to stop caring what others think!

Pauline is the founder of Girl Body Pride & blogs at Aspiring Mama. Find her at about.me/paulinecampos

Tonya Dawn's picture

Ouch!

Not to mention the fact that it hurts! I went through Basic Training and I still say it hurts. I can't imagine putting my daughter through that kind of pain in the name of beauty or acceptance. Yikes!

Pauline Campos's picture

Exactly

I feared going to the dentist for a cavity fill as a child. I don't even want to imagine what it's like adding "fear of waxing" to that list.

Pauline is the founder of Girl Body Pride & blogs at Aspiring Mama. Find her at about.me/paulinecampos

Lissa Rankin's picture

You nailed it again Pauline!

Ditto. I 1000% agree with you. When are going to raise our girls to believe they are JUST FINE the way they are, beautiful in all their hairiness or crooked-nosed-ness or ears-sticking-outness or acneness or frizzy hairness.

When our childrens' self-worth becomes contingent on how skinny they are or how hairless their developing bodies are, we know we're really f*cked up as a society.

Thank you for continuing to be a voice of change and empowerment for our kids.

Keep rocking it, sistah
Lissa

n/a
Pauline Campos's picture

Amen to that

Effed up as a society, indeed.

"When our childrens' self-worth becomes contingent on how skinny they are or how hairless their developing bodies are, we know we're really f*cked up as a society."

I'm no going to argue that my daughter is going to grow up perfect, but I am going to promise to do my best not to intentionally make her feel like she isn't perfect the way she is. And really? Shouldn't that be it?

thank you again for thinking of me for this one.

Pauline is the founder of Girl Body Pride & blogs at Aspiring Mama. Find her at about.me/paulinecampos

Nancy's picture

Waxes for wee ones

Gross. Just gross. Not having the hair, but telling little girls it's bad to have it. Maybe they are uncomfortable with it (my daughter is miserable about the changes in her body) but as parents, isn't it our job to make them feel GOOD about their bodies?
And while we are on the subject, why do men like completely bare women? I find it suspect. Sorry, but I do. There is just something vaguely pedophilic (is that a word) about it.
WOMEN have pubic hair. Trim it. Leave a landing strip. But nothing? That's sending a weird message, and sexualizing pre-pubescence.
Gross again.

Pauline Campos's picture

THANK YOU!!!!

Yes...it IS our jobs as mothers to make our children feel good about their bodies. Exactly that!

Pauline is the founder of Girl Body Pride & blogs at Aspiring Mama. Find her at about.me/paulinecampos

Citly's picture

Well, as a kid who got her

Well, as a kid who got her first period at age 10, I wish my elders had been supporting about it. (I lived with a very old-fashioned grandma and maiden aunt.)
I absolutely hated my body fuzz - and I hated them for refusing to allow me to shave it off, because they believed it would get thicker. It WAS thick already (just like their heads), or I wouldn't have been begging them to buy me razors at every opportunity I got. (And don't get me started on their refusal to buy me tampons because "they're for whores". Ugh!)
It was just horrid, to say the least. Therefore, I can actually understand if some kid wants to avoid being embarrassed due to the gorilla gene flaring up. A decently shaved leg/armpit can be a huge relief.
On the other hand, I don't really think bikini waxes should be doled out to 12-year-old kids. Heck, I'm 22 and still won't dare one - if getting my brows done makes me teary, I don't want to know what hot wax on my nether regions feels like. A trim and mini-shave should be more than enough if you have anything peeking out of your bikini line - specially at that age.

Pauline Campos's picture

Exceptions to the rule

I do understand that some children develop faster than others and understand that exceptions need to be made. My issue lies solely with the children who haven't yet hit puberty being pushed into waxing because of the "wax now, less hair later" theory. The crux of the problem here is the WHO behind the scheduling of the appointments. And since it's the parents making the calls and driving the kid to the salon, it's the parents who need to be apologizing to their daughters for the entire scenario.
Thank you for reading and for commenting!

Pauline is the founder of Girl Body Pride & blogs at Aspiring Mama. Find her at about.me/paulinecampos

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