August 22, 2010

do 8 year olds really need bikini waxes?


According to current research, girls are going through puberty earlier and earlier, with many getting their periods, developing breasts, and growing body hair as young as 7 or 8 years old. Because this is a fairly new phenomenon, scientists are still trying to understand why this is happening, but many suspect hormones in food, diet, and obesity to be key factors. Also the risks these girls may face in later life is still not understood either.

Here is one, of many articles, on this growing public health concern.

Currently, to help "deal" with the body hair "issue" that these young girls are facing, salons have started offering waxing services for the tweens set and girls as young as 8 years old are getting their pubes waxed. There are even discounts for "virgin hair". I just threw up a little in my mouth after I typed this.

Let's back up for a minute: When I was in middle school, I thought my underarm hair was out of control. I used a depilatory similar to Nair and broke out in this itchy painful blistering rash. It was so bad I had to go to my pediatrician and get it looked at. It hurt so fucking bad. My doctor, who's known me since I was 2, wanted to know why I wanted my hair to be gone. I told him that I didn't like it and that I needed it gone and that my friends had theirs gone too. And what if I wanted to wear a bikini one day, I'd need to have no body hair. He just stared at me, puzzled. He told me if I wanted to wear a bikini, which he thought I was way too young for anyway, that I should wear boy shorts, and that hair under my arms was just fine and that my body was doing what it was SUPPOSED TO DO by growing hair. Then he told me to put baking soda under my arms.

Now imagine being 8 years old. Imagine not knowing anything about puberty or growing up and then you look down one day and see hair on your vagina. It's interesting. Slightly scary. But also fascinating. And then imagine someone telling you this is gross, and taking you somewhere and letting some stranger put hot wax on your little 8 year old vagina and ripping the hair off. Have you ever had your pubes waxed? Me either, but that shit hurts. Or imagine growing up thinking that body hair is disgusting, and seeing the other women in your family without any, and feeling ashamed because you have some growing on your vagina, upper lip, arms, or on your legs. It's confusing to me and I am 28. I have no idea what to "do with my pubes" but I am adult. I am not 8 years old.

Here is something to consider: Who is looking at an 8 year olds pubes anyway? Who is concerned with this? And why? Parents why are you forcing your daughters to endure this humiliation and pain at such an early age? Girls, who told you this was ok? Waxers, what the fuck are you doing making money off of girls like this and making them think that they are not ok as they are?


mother issues


My mom is on facebook and we are friends. I know that's weird for some people and some of my friends aren't "facebook friends" with their mothers, but a whole lot of them are. And you know what? It is weird. Suddenly, a whole lot of the secrets I have worked so hard to keep from my mama are right there in her face and accessible to her and the rest of my entire family, who is also on facebook. I feel like I am an embarrassment to her, to them, to everyone.

I am not one of those people who logs on and writes about what they ate for dinner and what they think of the too hot or too cold weather. I write how I feel, what I did last night, how much I drank, screaming matches I got in, and my boyfriend whom I adore. There are pictures, there are my friends comments, and there are my own responses. I often wonder what my mom thinks of this. I ask her, she says, "I am way too busy doing my own stuff, I don't follow you that carefully".

And then I think about all the stuff she has no idea about. I want her to be like other people's mother's. I want her to "get me," to be proud of the things I have done, to talk about me, to visit me when I am far away, to know my writing, to know what I do everyday, to follow me more closely. I feel like a stranger to my whole family. I moved to a whole other state, many of them don't know. They never knew I was pregnant, married, divorced, a grad student. Most of them think my name is "Nana" and most of them have no idea how to say my son's middle name (is it really that hard?).

I want to discuss books with my mother, to take her to the spa, to paint with her, to dance with her, to show her where I stayed in Kenya, to show her where my son's family comes from. She is always too busy for me. Always. Not just sometimes, all the time. It hurts me.

When you are 28, people automatically assume you don't need your mother as much as you did when you were 8, but you do. Maybe more. Life never stops being difficult and mothers are so incredibly good at figuring things out. I miss her. I need her. I hope these little peeks into my life via facebook make her realize how much she is indeed missing, how much she doesn't know, how much I screw things up because I don't have her to help me.