I Shaved my 7-Year-old

Last fall, I received a personal laser hair removal system because I’d already shaved myself silly for the past 30 years and waxing hurts my feelings. My 7-year-old saw it and asked what it was. I told her. Then, she mentioned the hair on her arms. She said if the laser hair removal worked, she wanted me to use it on her. I took notice but didn’t want to make a “thing” of it. It felt like a little punch to my gut that this was a concern of my 2nd grader. It broke my heart a little.

I’ve always believed that when my daughters came to me about hairy legs, out of control eyebrows or the inevitable extra lip hair (because God knows I am living proof of maintenance) that I would help them. It wouldn’t be an issue, until they came to me if it bothered them. As long as they love the skin they are in, that’s all that matters to me.

I remember being in middle school myself and having hairy legs and my dad forbidding me to shave my legs. I had to wear ugly tube socks to hide the Sasquatch I was evolving into. It was humiliating. Eventually, embarrassment and humiliation got the best of me, I butchered shaved my legs and nearly took my ankle off with it. I never wanted my girls to have to sneak and shave their legs, tweeze their eyebrows or, heaven forbid, wax their mustache. Mostly, I never wanted them to feel that awkward humiliation or be stumped when someone else pointed out what they already knew.

So, when my 7-year-old came to me for a second time last night and asked me if I could laser her tiny little arms, I looked her straight in the face and asked her, “Why do you want me to take the hair off of your arms?” And she answered, “Because it bothers me, Mommy.” I made the decision to stick by my guns and I agreed to shave her arms.

You see when she originally asked about it, I consulted my aesthetician and she recommended shaving her arms. When my daughter came to me, very seriously, after several months and still wanted the hair gone. I had to do what was best for her.

I took her to my bathroom. I explained that hair is natural and we all have it. Some of us have more than others but that if this were what SHE wanted, I would shave her arms. She was sure.

I washed her arms. Lathered them with shaving cream and almost surreally,

I shaved her tiny arms from her elbow to her wrist.

When we were done, she hugged me and said, “Oh, Mommy! They are so smooth. Now, I don’t have to wear my fleece every day in class to cover my arms!”

She was ecstatic. She ran downstairs to show her dad and her sister. And then I died a little bit inside, as I held back the tears because I realized that she hadn’t given me the entire story.

I followed her downstairs, pulled her aside and asked, “Baby, why do you wear your fleece every day in class?”

Then she said something I never wanted to hear, “ Well, *Sophie asked my why my arms were so hairy. Then she told me they were weird. Then she laughed.”

I can tell you that as a mom, I wanted to punch this other 7-year-old in the face because she has put it in my daughter’s head that her arms are weird because they have hair on them. That will never go away. She’s never going to forget that moment that someone laughed and called her “weird” because of her body. That infuriates me.

I know some of you reading this are thinking why on the earth would you shave your 7-year-old’s arms? I realize that it sounds vain and cosmetic and no I don’t want to encourage my girls to believe that they need to change to meet society’s expectations of beauty. This wasn’t about that. This was me helping my daughter feel better about herself because it bothered her just like I would take her to a dermatologist if she had acne or get her braces if her teeth were crooked.

I shaved my daughter because that’s what she needed to feel happy in her skin.

I’m thrilled my daughter feels more confident without the hair on her arms but I’m hoping, since I didn’t have the entire story, that I didn’t send the wrong message. I don’t want her to think she has to conform to other people’s concept of beauty because I think she’s perfect already.

What would you have done in this situation?

Would you have shaved your 7-year-old if you could see it truly bothered her?

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Comments (6)

I have the very fair skin of my English grandmother and the dark hairiness of my Greek grandmother so I know what it’s like to have hairy arms and legs which is soooo noticeable. I also shaved without shaving cream because I couldn’t stand it anymore and I will tell you that I would 100% do that for my daughter.

I understand completely. I am fair skinned Latina but definitely hairy and I would never just shave my daughter but I’ve always known that when it became an issue for them…and they asked me to do something about it, I would do something about it. So I did.

I’m hairy as well and remember going behind my mother’s back in elementary school to shave my legs when a boy made a comment. I remember always saying I would give my daughter options and choices. Seven seems sort of young yet for something that is not a one time thing but as her mom you have the right and you must choose what route you feel is best. If she was happy with results that is awesome but also as parents we have responsibility to teach our kids that cosmetic fixes are ok but what is really important is how great we feel from the inside out. Thanks for sharing, hope your little one grows up to be really comfortable in her own skin, even if a little hairy, lol I know I made peace with hairy in my arms a long time ago.

I never made peace with my hairy legs. I shave them daily. Even at 10 months pregnant, it was just something that I had to do but it makes me feel better about myself, less self-conscious and I think that’s a good thing, right?

I don’t know what I would do in that situation. Giving someone else’s words so much power is what gives me pause. People will say things-but somehow we have to teach our kids to not take their words at face value. But what comes through loud and clear is your love and unconditional acceptance of her. I hope that’s what impacts her more than anything.

My daughter is 7, almost 8, and has very, very long thick dark hair on them. I have shaved them for her twice in the last couple months. She didn’t ask, but I know how mean kids are. If she didn’t want them shaved I wouldn’t do it. I just casually asked her as she watched me shaving mine. She loved having smooth legs. People don’t understand but it works for us. I’m not ashamed, and I don’t think age matters.

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