I went through puberty at the young age of 11. While I was sprouting hair under my arms and a full B cup, my friends weren't showing any signs of getting their curves or needing a razor. I felt out of place and insecure and was unable to process the fact they would soon catch up—I was worried about what was happening to my body at that moment.
When you are a young girl or boy, what other kids your age think of you is a huge part of your life. You don't realize everyone is stumbling along trying to figure it out feeling the same way you are.
After getting my period the summer before sixth grade, I became so aware of the hair on my body, especially my legs, I begged my mom to let me shave. She agreed and showed me how with a little pink razor and a bar of Dove soap.
While I'm thankful I had a teacher, as it probably reduced a lot of nicks and cuts, I'm pretty sure I would have tried shaving on my own. Kids have a way of making things happen very quickly behind closed doors.
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My daughter inherited my nose and her father's dark skin and dark hair. Her long, shiny locks are gorgeous. But we all know when you are born with lustrous hair on your head, it isn't relegated to that area only.
When she was 10 the hair on her legs was long and dark. It seemed to happen overnight, and she was very aware of it along with a few of her peers who took liberty in pointing it out to her.
Of course, I can sit here and tell her she's beautiful and it doesn't matter what he friends think, but statements like mean nothing coming from your mom.
So, I showed her how to shave her legs at the young age of 10, and she's been doing it ever since.
Was she too young? Not in my book. I stand by this decision, just as I supported my son who started shaving his mustache when he was 12. Most of his friends were still baby-faced with maybe a little peach fuzz, but he had an obvious 'stache above his lip he hated.
Photo by Catherine Ledner
What's the big deal? It's only hair removal. They aren't putting chemicals on their skin or asking for some expensive procedure.
If my kids are uncomfortable because of unwanted hair, then of course I'll let them shave. My only ask is they clean the bathroom afterwards, which has been our biggest struggle.
And if they had a bad acne problem they were concerned about, I'd take them to the dermatologist, too.
I believe there's no certain age our kids should reach before they are given the right to shave. We can teach them how to use a razor and shaving cream responsibly, sure. Know what else we can do? We can teach them to be confident and love themselves, and take care of something like leg, lip, or underarm hair simultaneously. The two don't have to be exclusive.
I love myself very much, but you better believe every month when I see my grays popping out I go to the salon for a full color.
There's no need to make our kids go to school and hang out with friends feeling insecure or like they have to wear pants in warm weather.
It's just hair. Pass them the razor and let them feel confident in their skin.