Waxing and Children

This is a quick post about a dilemma I have.

My youngest Daughter saw her Mum today. When she came back home, she was upset.

To cut a long story short, Anya told me that Mum had said she was looking a bit hairy and she would have to take her “to a waxing”.

Mum is Indian of course, and I know this is a normal thing for many Indian girls to do. But Anya has been brought up by me since she was little. I tell my daughters they are beautiful at least a few times every day. I have never worried or even talked about the odd bit of darker body hair (like both have on their legs and arms).

Things weren’t helped my Mum telling A that she is “beginning to look like a Gorilla”.

(I am sure this was said as some sought of joke – but to Anya of course it was hurtful – please don’t dwell on this point though – it was just crass).

Both D’s are due to see their Mum next weekend, and Anya has been upset tonight saying that she does not want to be waxed.

Instinct tells me to simply say to Mum that she can park this plan until I say it’s OK. But I’m not Indian and I’m not a girl.

So what to do…?

@tattoed_mummy suggested asking the Mummy Bloggers…

…so over to you!



About onlydads

Single Dad living near Totnes in Devon. I founded www.onlydads.org in 2007 and live with my daughters Priya, 14 and Anya 11. I write about single parenting, work, overcoming trials and tribulations and sometimes not overcoming trials and tribulations.
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23 Responses to Waxing and Children

  1. Tattooed_mummy says:

    We’ve had a similar dilemma. My dd is part italian and has dark hairs on her legs and arms. She has never wanted to get rid of the hair until recently some girls at school started commenting on her leg hair. Finally she caved in and we used Veet cream. Shes happy with the result. I’d leave it up to your daughter, maybe discuss options (including do nothing) and let her mum know (firmly) what is decided.

  2. ThinkingFox says:

    Hey Bob

    At first glance this is a difficult one. It’s up there with ear piercings, boyfriends staying over, holidaying on their own or with their friends… and all a complete minefield for divorced or separated parents…

    I’m not there yet (mine are both too young) but I’d like to think that I’d try and start from the point of thinking “how would we have dealt with this as parents if we were still married?” Not an easy thing to do for most I’d agree, but it seems to me that issues like these can become the spark that relights the fire of arguments and entrenched positions… and that should be avoided at all costs.

    If it was me I’d probably drop her mum a quick note saying “hey I know you were only joking but it’s freaked er out a bit…, could you play it all down for a while? If you think she is a bit too hairy, what can we do to help her without freaking her out again? happy to help etc”

    That way you give her “an out” to say yes it was a joke, you’re asking her to clarify, and you’re offering to help… all good practice when dealing with an ex…

    I may be completely wrong though. Let me know how it goes…

  3. @pantsbum says:

    mmmm ok i am a mum of one teen girl and a small fluffy boy and i have had part waxed myself needed a stiff drink after let me tell you. your girls are still so young bless them waxing is a big time no no whatever religion or whatever not at that age. weather it is a joke or not the mother should be building up self esteem school is cruel enough believe me not knocking it down. i think you need to have a quiet word with their mum and see under what context this was said before saying or doing anything but your daughter needs reassurance not so much from you but from her mother that she wont be waxed plucked or anythinged unless your daughters feel that they want that. i really hope this helped you .

  4. Tara says:

    I’d say waxing might be a bit painful,i’d say veet to if she feels like she would like to see what it’s like to get rid of her leg hair but she shouldn’t be pressured ,but don’t let her start doing her arms which seems to be a bit of a thing these days.

  5. Sara says:

    I think if your daughter hasnt come to you wanting it then it isn’t time. If she isn’t happy then maybe it could be discussed but if mom is the first to raise the subject she needs to be told to wait.

  6. Blimey… they’re your girls and you are their main guardian so be bold and stick up for your girl and be confident there’s a sea of Mum’s out here who are on your side. If she doesn’t want to do it yet, it’s entirely up to her isn’t it?
    We have a dark hair curse in our family.. and my daughter is part Afro-Caribbean, so we have also been through the impatient tears of ‘please can I have my hair straightened Mum!’ which I angsted over for a long time. Any rites of passage or conformity to socially accepted routines shouldn’t be forced but be requested.
    Veet/ Nair works for us.. but young skin should be spot tested first… just in case you feel you want to beat mum to it (albeit inadvisable) with a less painless option. Best of luck…

  7. Harriet says:

    I can understand your daughter not wanting waxing it hurts like hell. In my experience most teenage girls will start to shave their legs (and other parts) at some point. But if it has not been an issue for her up to this point then I think you have to respect that and tell mum she must do the same. There will come a time when she wants to crack open the Bic razors, and at that point mum can step in and point her in the right direction.

  8. Sarah Twinn says:

    I can understand A being scared of waxing – it flippin’ hurts! In my opinion, it is a decision she should be able to make for herself as and when she wants to, and not be forced to do it, particularly at such a young age.

    When and if she decides that she wants to remove hair from her arms, please don’t let her shave it though – I know someone who did and it grew back worse – not me I hasten to add! Veet, formerly known as Immac ;-), would be a much less stressful way for her to do it. I would say to go for the sensitive skin version and do a spot test first before slathering it over. Shaving legs etc. is in itself something to be thought out too – and I would suggest from personal experience that cheap disposable razors are not necessarily the way to go.

    Thinking Fox had a good suggestion, in trying to make a lighthearted way out of it for her mum – I would hope that she would be horrified if she thought that she had caused distress to her daughter.

  9. Jehefinner says:

    I think if she doesn’t want it done, she doesn’t have to do it.

    Personally though I favour waxing/sugaring/epilator over veet/nair. I wouldn’t put a chemical soup on my kids skin, or my own, and don’t think waxing etc is terribly painful anyway.

    Ultimately any hair removal should be instigated by your daughter, when she wants to do it, and no one else.

    • onlydads says:

      Thank you for reading and commenting.

      There does seem to be a general feeling that this must come from my daughter – not anyone else!

      Bob 🙂

  10. Vena Ramphal says:

    Its Anya’s body so she has sole right over it. If she doesn’t want it, then it shouldn’t happen. If she hasn’t instigated it, then it hasn’t come from her so it would be an imposition. As others have suggested, she’ll probably become interested in hair removal at some point, at which time I’m sure you’ll get her the information she needs, so she can make informed choices.

    • onlydads says:

      Vena – I agree with you 100%. But there is another issue. I think??

      Because of their mixed heritage, I have always encouraged the girls to accept and delight in their Indian roots. Only the other day Priya asked me to tell her the stories about her great grand father (he was Indian and became a pilot with the RAF during the war – and rather famously won many medals and at every level was considered to be a flying “ace” He was an all action hero!)

      The girls love all this – and I know if we lived in India they would be running off to the “beauty palour” with their cousins and aunties for threading (whatever that is!) and all manner of treatments.

      there is a cultural issue – I think that is what I am aware of. It is that that just adds a complication in my mind.

      In short, I don’t want to disrespect their Mums wishes.

      Does that make sense?

      Bob x

  11. @pie100 says:

    As a mother of a girl (and boy), a very small girl at the moment, I would be a bit shocked that a mum has suggested it. I agree with the others if your girl hasnt come to you under her own steam asking then she isnt ready. And definately not waxing!
    We are grown up for so long and have to worry about these things, there is plenty of time in the future for waxing etc.

    • onlydads says:

      thank you for reading and commenting. There is this issue of timing, and like others who have commented, I am listening to the line that this request for hair removal (if it ever comes?) should come from my daughter – not anyone else.

      Many thanks


  12. Alison says:

    Agree with all that has been said so far, I just wanted to add another couple of points

    – My daughters are much younger (5) so are nowhere near these issues, but what I have always tried to do is to instill in them a sense that it is their body, private to them and they never have to do anything that makes them feel unconfortable or that they don’t want to do. I’m hoping this will stand them in good stead for the pre-teen and teen years. Its a great opportunity to try and reinforce that with your daughter and restore her confidence – that shes got the right to choose.

    – As well as the above options, if she gets to the point where she does want to do something about it, there is also the option of lightening the hair (I think the product is called Jolen or similar) which is particularly good for arms

    – The fact that you are the main guardian and have always told them how beautiful they are makes me sure that this will have given both of your daughters an inherent self-confidence and ability to make the right decisions about these types of things. Although the comments from her Mum have obviously upset A (and for good reason!) the fact that she came home and told you about it shows how much she trusts you to be on her side and stick up for her.

    Good luck with it all – what a lovely Dad you are 😉

    • onlydads says:

      thank you for these considered thoughts. I tend to agree that girls will come to these decisions when the time is right for them. While they may not want to discuss hair-removal options with their Dad!! they will be able to talk through options with their mates and other females in their life.

      Thank you Alison 🙂


  13. I find it hard to think that someone would tell their daughter they needed waxing…my daughter Ruby has pretty hairy arms and legs and it’s never even crossed my mind to wax her??? If your daughter isn’t happy to have it done then she shouldn’t have to have it done should she? I’d let her decide what is and isn’t to be done with her body hair when she’s ready to….and I agree with Alison, you’re a lovely Dad….to have given your daughters enough confidence in you that they can talk to you about anything like that is wonderful, I hope I’m doing the same with my girls 🙂
    Jules x

    • onlydads says:

      Thank you so much for these kind comments – I will be taking the advice offered by you and just about everyone else 🙂

      …and I have no doubts you are a fantastic FANTASTIC Mum to your children.

      Bob x

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