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Archive for September 7th, 2010

If you aren’t yet signed up to the excellent Any-Body page on Facebook you may have missed the less than delightful story about bikini waxing for young girls.

In 10 years, waxing children will be like taking them to the dentist or putting braces on their teeth.

According to one New York waxing practitioner.

The story was originally broken by MSNBC and uncovered a growing trend across the United States of mothers booking their pre-pubescent girls in for bikini waxing.

One New York City salon, Wanda’s European Skin Care Center, boasts on its Web site that children 8 years and older can get discounted waxing for “virgin” hair. “Virgin hair can be waxed so successfully that growth can be permanently stopped in just 2 to 6 sessions. Save your child a lifetime of waxing … and put the money in the bank for her college education instead!” the salon proclaims.

It is true that many girls in the western world are starting puberty much younger. It is not uncommon for some to start periods aged 9 or 10. Some of the reasoning for this drastic hair removing practice goes that the girl wants to fit in with her peers and can’t have unsightly hair sprouting between her legs.

Much of the true pressure seems to come from mothers who dream of a future as a supermodel for their little girls. Little girls as young as 6 have been brought for waxing because their mothers feel embarrassed about the amount of hair they have on their bodies.

“Girls are learning the worst possible lessons about body image and body hair,” said Dr. Diane Levin, professor of education at Wheelock College in Boston and co-author of the book “So Sexy So Soon.” “Keep your bodies like little girls’ because that’s what men like.”

While Dr Levin has a point, her theory that this is what men like doesn’t completely hold firm with the direct action of the mothers.

Why would women in one of the most equal areas of the world choose to adhere to such a warped approach to womanhood? Are these child waxing mothers under the thumb of a perverted male orientated culture that insists on hair stripped girls and women?

I can see the male pressures but in such a  free society why are women choosing extreme conformity and normalisation of this oppressive fetish? Is the highly feminised cult of beauty to blame and if so could this be coming about more as a commercial pressure than a directly masculine one?

These mothers are the generation whose own mothers fought for equal pay and equal rights. How have we, as a gender, slipped so far back in one generation?

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