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The Tween Preen: Hair Removal

I am now the proud owner of a tweenager and a threenager. I’m not 100% sure what the difference is; they both fuss over clothes and food, one is stroppy, the other hormonally moody and both have their own  individual hygiene issues. And I’m not sure I care, I’m trying to see out a menopause over here!

Talking with friends recently about tweens and their hygiene issues the inevitable question arose, what about tweens and hair removal?

Recently the tween has suggested to me that she would like to start shaving her legs. I have played the compassionate mother assuring her that her legs aren’t that hairy and she’s lucky because the hair that is there is fair. I think I’ve managed to stall her for the time being.

I remember my first foray into hair removal very clearly. I was 12 and had put up with hairy legs for the first year of high school. Being a brunette, mine were genuinely hairy and the fairness of my childhood has been replaced by a layer of dark mohair. Although calling it mohair is probably too kind, it was coarse and wouldn’t lie flat, and in my 12 year old mind I felt that I resembled a Woolly Mammoth from the thighs down. I shut myself in the bathroom and set about my mission ‘Operation Furry.’  It was a bonus having a sister 7 years older than me as I knew she had the required implement, a bright white and orange Bic razor. Yes, back in 1983 there was none of your pastel coloured exotically named lady razors. And if there were my sister certainly wasn’t buying them.

I sat on the edge of the bath and pulled up my uniform skirt. Using the shower attachment (fastened to the taps, not a proper fixture of course). I lathered up my hairy legs and began the furry offensive. Turns out that shaving your legs is not as easy as it might appear. I came away relatively unscathed with only about 32 cuts where I’d skimmed the razor over bone or pressed too hard on my shins. Despite the bath now resembling a scene from Stephen King’s ‘Carrie’ I felt quite accomplished and dare I say it, like a teenager.


Later that evening Mum noticed the numerous spots of loo roll attached to my now smooth legs and asked me what I’d done. ‘Shaved my legs!’ Said I wearing my new found smoothness like a badge of tween honour. Her face fell and I could see she was upset ‘Oh no why have you done that?’ she asked. I was a bit shocked to be honest as I thought her reaction was quite extreme. I was thinking that perhaps she had misheard and thought I said ‘Oh I’ve just taken up smoking and hard drugs.’ She sighed rather exasperatedly and assured me that ‘The hair on your legs was really fair and no-one could see it because you weren’t that hairy’ and  ‘once you start shaving your legs you’ll have to do it all the time because the hairs grow back thicker.’ I still don’t know to this day whether she was saying this to frighten me, but I resigned myself to it. Thirty-three years later I’m still shaving them just in case they do grow back thicker.

I’m wondering if this is the way forward with the tween although I suspect not. I’m thinking that when the time comes for ‘Operation Furry: The Next Generation’ I will embrace this petite rite of passage. Perhaps we’ll even make a pilgrimage to our local supermarket in search of appropriate implements. We will be dazzled by the array of multi coloured pastel lady razors and we will ponder our choices of Venus, Passion and so on. None of your Easyjet coloured Sweeney Todd razors for my girl. No siree! Purchases made, we will skip happily out of the supermarket having bonded over such an intimate feminine issue. I will help her to lather up her fair legs with delicately perfumed lady shaving gel and I will shave her legs myself using my 33 years of experience, a mother passing on those precious traditions to her daughter. I can almost hear the tinkle of our laughter and the sound of a meaningful soundtrack to record this moment in posterity.

Sadly the reality will be that she will stroll nonchalantly into the kitchen one evening with legs like jam roly polies and enough loo roll to make an Andrex Puppy weep.  I will put two and two together and realise that she has been up in the bathroom and used her dad’s razor to rid herself of fur. What do you think this is? The Gilmore Girls?!

The fact is parenting books don’t really tell us how and when to deal with these issues. Although I probably wouldn’t have read them anyway! When should young girls start shaving? And is it acceptable to say no to this particular part of the tween preen?

I’ve linked up with:

Mission Mindfulness


Pink Pear Bear


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  • sarahmo3w

    August 1, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    I am laughing! I lied to my mum that I was shaving my legs, but the blood soaking through the pyjamas was a dead giveaway. As were the hairs on my dad’s razor.
    My daughter is 10 now, so hopefully a bit longer to wait, but this is an issue I need answers to before it’s too late. When is the right time? What’s the best technique? And what about er – other parts of the body? Eek! (Do they still have communal showers in games lessons?!)

    1. Siena Says

      August 22, 2016 at 8:13 am

      Ha ha! Yes we have all been there. As to the right time, how long is a piece of string? I imagine she will let you know. I haven’t even thought about other parts of the body, I’m still coming to terms with this 🙂
      Thanks for commenting x

  • This Mum’s Life

    August 4, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Oooh, this must be such a difficult one! And I don’t envy you at all, especially having to go through it twice… You really took me on a trip down memory lane too, with your description of the Easyjet razors, and the shower attachment that went on the bath-I’d TOTALLY forgotten about those!!!!! You also bought back some painful hair removal stories of my own, buried in the deepest, darkest part of my brain…! I first started getting really hairy at 9, and as I spent most of my time in a leotard and tights at dance school-getting rid of the hair was an ongoing embarrassing battle for me. And I don’t know whether it was early symptoms of PCOS, or bad luck, but despite having fair hair, the hair everywhere else was very dark! For some reason, my mum recommended I put talcum powder on the areas that needed doing, then shave over the sink or bath…?! So every other day, I’d talc everything up, and bic razor it all. Then I’d slap roll on deodorant on my armpits so I didn’t smell after dance training (gritting my teeth because it stung like a b***h.) I had permanently sore armpits for about 8 years! When I was 16, me and my mum would go and get everything waxed together every couple of weeks. Going from my bad memories, I’d probably say to let your daughter get rid of the hair if she wants to, but definitely go with her to choose a decent razor and shave foam!! And try and talk her through if if she’ll let you!! But as I don’t have a daughter, that’s super easy for me to say!! And actually, for the first time ever, I think I’m quite glad I’ve got boys, so I don’t have to go through this…! Best of luck!!

    1. Siena Says

      August 22, 2016 at 8:21 am

      Wow I have never heard of using talc before. These days you’d struggle to track down talc, so rarely see it in the shops now (although do they still do baby powder?)
      I’m sorry to stir up to painful memories (in more ways than one) and yes at least you have boys so you don’t have to go through all of this, although I am sure boys bring their own challenges!
      Thanks for commenting x

  • Double the Monkey Business

    August 4, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    This was exactly what my mum told me too. I never knew if it was true or just coincidence that she was right! It is such a chore now but I felt like it was a right of passage somehow! x #bigpinklink

    1. Siena Says

      August 22, 2016 at 8:22 am

      It is a chore I agree, but I do like the feeling of nice smooth legs although it doesn’t seem to last long until the stubble appears.
      The joys of being a woman!
      Thanks for your comment x

  • Sarah

    August 6, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    Good luck with this – I love your description of the pilgrimage to the supermarket – no easy jet coloured razors in sight!

    1. Siena Says

      August 22, 2016 at 8:24 am

      I will need all the luck I can get I reckon. I just know that she will home in on the most fantastically coloured razor that costs a small fortune!
      Thanks for your comment xx

  • Big Pink Link 26 – The Secret Diary of Agent Spitback

    August 7, 2016 at 12:42 am

    […] one – The Tween Preen : Hair Removal by Siena Says because it bought back a LOT of awful hair removal disaster memories for her! It was […]

  • Nursery Whines

    August 8, 2016 at 6:37 am

    This is such a good post. Hopefully it is a long way off for me as my daughter is just a a baby, but it’s already one I think about. My mother eventually gave in and gave me her old fold up razor from when she was a teenager to shave my legs when I was about 12. She tried to deter me with the same ‘the hairs are fair and they’ll just get thicker’ line for a while. But finally she was broken down and produced this funny little 60s razor in a faded pink plastic box which screwed onto its handle. No triple bounced blades behind bars back then… I still have a scar on one leg where I skinned the shin a bit too deep! And whenever I look down at my unshaven stubbly legs I think, I wish I’d listened and never shaved them in the first place! #bigpinklink

    1. Siena Says

      August 22, 2016 at 8:27 am

      Ha ha in my search for relevant pictures to use on this post, it did throw up some vintage lady razors which I had forgotten about and also a round item called a Flicker which brought back memories (not that I ever used it)
      I still have a really good scar near my ankle bone, ouch!
      Thanks for commenting x

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