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Growing up

(37 Posts)
tanith Tue 06-Sep-16 17:42:05

My 11yr old granddaughter started high school yesterday and she called in after school to tell us about her day she was very excited and loved meeting new friends . Then out of the blue she said to her Mum 'I need to shave my legs if I'm going to wear short socks or you have to buy me tights'. Apparently its usual (according to other girls) that if you have bare legs they have to be shaved. Really? at 11 for goodness sake. Mum and I were horrified and told her in no uncertain terms that wasn't happening and she could have woolly tights when the weather turned cold. I have a feeling that she might try it for herself despite what she's been told though, I could just cry for her.

What does anyone else thing or am I over reacting?

annsixty Tue 06-Sep-16 18:06:47

I don't want to be controversial, though I feel I will be, but do not set her apart from her peers. We compromised with GD by her wearing M&S 30/40 denier navy tights which most of the girls wore. The thick woolly tights will not do and you will make her resentful.

Luckygirl Tue 06-Sep-16 18:20:08

I'm with merlot - being included and feeling part of the gang is so important at that age. It will not harm her to shave her legs. Buy her an epilator and help her to do it. It is likely that she will get bored with the whole palaver as time goes by if you help her and behave in an understanding way, rather than risking her being an outsider.

There will be plenty of times when the "gang" is trying to pull her in a seriously dangerous direction and you need to save your fire for the serious situations.

Linsco56 Tue 06-Sep-16 18:23:32

I wouldn't agree with leg shaving at 11yrs and I think annsixty has made a good suggestion.

There was a similar thread not so long ago and someone suggested a hair removal exfoliating mitt which seems more acceptable (and safer) for an 11yr old.

tanith Tue 06-Sep-16 18:24:24

No argument from me if she wants sheer tights but I don't think I will be comfortable with an 11yr old who has to shave her legs all the time, oh well!

Charleygirl Tue 06-Sep-16 18:27:15

I agree with Luckygirl and annsixty- if you help her now she will be more willing to discuss more controversial subjects with you later. She must feel "one of the gang".

I also think that she will soon get fed up shaving her legs and she may also find that an epilator is at the best uncomfortable but could be painful.

Elrel Tue 06-Sep-16 18:40:55

Surely it depends on the amount of hair, I've never needed to shave mine. Tried it once and looked no different, just felt very slightly bristly! A friend had such hairy legs that unshaven she appeared to be wearing black lace tights.
I expect it's the usual 'Everyone shaves' and 'No one leaves hair on their legs.' Many schools/forms/peer groups are exclusively composed of those two pupils!

BlueBelle Tue 06-Sep-16 18:41:26

I too agree with those that said don't be horrified by this need to conform Having seven grandkids all of whom are in the teen or pre teen bracket it is incredible important they 'belong' I also remember the horror of having handmade uniform when everyone else had shop bought when I was at school 60 odd years ago no one was awful to me but it was commented on often and I would have gone through the floor if I could and now is so much more prevalant than it was then and it happens to boys as well as girls A few kids are confident enough to be ' different' but the majority aren't
Let her do what she needs in the best way possible or buy her the same tights as the others wear and don't be horrified there is worse to come LoL

Ana Tue 06-Sep-16 18:48:37

If you don't want her shaving her legs, buy her the tights everyone else at school wears.

It's awful at that age to be 'different'!

SueDonim Tue 06-Sep-16 19:16:23

If no one buys her some tights, then she's going to try shaving her legs anyway. You may as well bite the bulletin and show her how to shave/exfoliate safely or get her some tights.

Christinefrance Tue 06-Sep-16 19:37:39

Yes I agree , girls of that age need to be the same as their peers ( within reasonable limits ) I agree with SueDonim and others. Girls mature more quickly now so go for it. The novelty will soon wear off I'm sure.

SueDonim Tue 06-Sep-16 20:34:08

Damn you, autocorrect! That should be bullet, not bulletin!

tanith Tue 06-Sep-16 21:15:45

Ok I hadn't thought of the 'needing to be the same' thing, as for tights none of the girls is actually wearing tights yet they are all in short socks as its still so warm and of course I'm sure Mum will buy her tights as soon as she asks for them, no one is denying her tights woolly or otherwise. It was just the leg shaving thing I couldn't get my head around thanks for all your suggestions and advice.

Wobblybits Tue 06-Sep-16 21:48:25

I don't see letting an 11 year old shave her legs is a big deal, she will soon get fed up with it.

Deedaa Tue 06-Sep-16 21:55:08

When I was her age the big thing was wearing a petticoat. My mother thought it was ridiculous and "No one" wore a petticoat under a gymslip. I suffered torments till she eventually gave in about two years later. We also went through the same thing with bras. In those days none of us shaved our legs till we were about 14 but I remember thinking that short socks and hairy legs was a pretty bad look.

nettyandmasey Wed 07-Sep-16 10:02:03

Have you thought about allowing her to use a removal cream? I know 11 is young, but we were all teenagers once.i remember using my dads razor secretly. At least a cream would be safer.

POGS Wed 07-Sep-16 10:35:33


My granddaughter has been unhappy about her hairy legs for about a year now and she is only 10.1/2 I guess somebody at school said something or indeed she may have decided she has an issue herself. It matters not one jot that she does NOT have hairy legs and what she does have are blonde, it's in her psyche.

I did note your granddaughter said 'if I am going to wear short socks', could this be the issue as much as the hairy legs concern? The reason I mention it is in my granddaughters class the girls have turned their backs on short white socks they will wear black. Seems to be a 'maturity' issue. grin. Most will wear tights in the winter. By the way the fad last year and it looks like this too is to wear black legging type shorts under their skirts so their knickers don't show. Can't wait for what comes next.

Kids hey!

tanith Wed 07-Sep-16 10:47:08

Thanks POGS sounds like we have similar granddaughters regarding the hair not showing and being blond anyway. The socks she wears are black and short which all the girls at her school are wearing so she is 'in the gang' as regards her socks I'm sure as soon as the others start wearing the tights she will do the same. Hopefully once tights are worn she won't worry about her 'hairy' legs being on show grin
Her skirt has to be knee length so no chance of knickers on show thankfully and the girls are policed by the staff if they start the business of 'rolling it up at the waist' like we used to wink

kittylester Wed 07-Sep-16 11:01:54

I can remember my nan knitting me a school cardigan when I started grammar-school that was so shapeless and long that it lasted until I was 16. I'd have loved a shop bought one like everyone else. Please let her be the same as everyone else if that's what she wants. There will be bigger battles to fight.

Stansgran Wed 07-Sep-16 11:33:04

Oh yes to home knitted school car dies. I would have loved a bought one. If you can buy her an epilator so she won't be clogging up the bathroom with evil smelling veet. Shaving seems to make blonde hairs dark and thick.

POGS Wed 07-Sep-16 11:47:30


SNAP. grin

Yes I remenber skirts rolled over at the top, blazer sleeve turned up inches and what would our darlings think of having to use elastic bands to hold their socks up.!

As for shaving your legs did anybody in those days?

lizzypopbottle Wed 07-Sep-16 11:47:45

tanith Your granddaughter may take heart from my experience. Since the menopause, my legs and armpits haven't needed shaving at all! So she's only got about 40 years of shaving ahead of her! Good news, eh? ?

Seriously though, let her fit in. Shaving her legs won't harm her, even though it becomes a real chore and, once started, you can never stop! (tell her that....until menopause ?)

nettyandmasey Your dad must have wondered why his razor was always blunt!

franjess2000 Wed 07-Sep-16 12:42:52

If she starts shaving her legs now while they are blonde and unnoticable they will go dark and thick - then she will have no choice.

The epilator is a much better as it hurts so she won't want to do it and it weakens the hair so it won't get thicker and darker

Ana Wed 07-Sep-16 12:51:02

Shaving doesn't make the hair grow back darker or thicker, that's a myth.

Wobblybits Wed 07-Sep-16 13:03:54

I would have thought shaving was better than putting harsh chemicals on such young skin. An electric razor is safe.