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Growing up

(38 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?

tanith Fri 09-Sep-16 14:58:43

Oh BlueBelle don't tell me about the 'no coats' rule, where the heck did that come from? I see kids on frosty/snowy/wet Winter mornings walking along in shirt sleeves, how they don't get hypothermia I don't know, and sitting at school in wet clothes all day? They probably have sweaters and coats rolled up in their bags as soon as they leave home as I can't imagine any Mother letting her child leave for school in shirt sleeves in the dead of Winter.
I never knew they made DM sandals but I can't see those being allowed.

BlueBelle Fri 09-Sep-16 14:09:33

We on the east coast are the same as you Tanith all the girls wear short black socks with Doc Martins and DMs make sandal style for the summer Ours only wear black tights in the dead of winter Oh and its not cool to wear a coat even in winter unless its absolutely pouring then it used to be a superdry but superdry are 'naff' now so I m told.grin

Icyalittle Thu 08-Sep-16 20:08:15

Please, please go with the advice to let her be like the others, but also buy her an epilator, particularly as her hair is fine. The cheapest are only £20 or so by Phillips or Boots like this one and she will love you for ever, especially because her legs won't itch when she goes into tights. My daughter still thanks me for buying her one at the same age, nearly 20 years ago!

Persistentdonor Thu 08-Sep-16 18:11:22

I used to have jet black hair on my head,which is now grey, but I still have more hair on my legs than my husband has on his chin.....
Shaved hair on legs grows back stubbly and ugly. An exfoliating mitt or epilator is definitely the way forward, unless tights will fill the need.

Purpledaffodil Thu 08-Sep-16 10:48:49

When "everyone else" was wearing American tan stockings, DM bought me a pair of sturdy beige ones with SEAMS down the back because they would last longer. Oh yes they did last forever because I was too embarrassed to wear them. Going with the flow over non life threatening issues is the best way I agree.

icanhandthemback Thu 08-Sep-16 09:49:51

I can remember the humiliation as clear as day when all my friends walked round with clean legs whilst I had to wear short socks with tarantula legs. In the end, despite the fact it meant incurring my very strict mother's wrath, I bought a razor and took the plunge. It was such a relief.
If your GD has light fine hair you can get an abrasive glove which would take the worst off.

notoveryet Thu 08-Sep-16 08:36:58

I don't think it's a big deal. There will certainly be bigger issues than this as she gets older. My eldest granddaughter shaved her legs from early on,she is quite dark and was indeed very hairy.Allowing her to feel ok about herself over this may mean she will have less problems when the answer has to be no.

absent Thu 08-Sep-16 07:52:44

My 12-year-old granddaughter shaves her legs. (I think she also plucks her eyebrows, although not much and not very well.). I'm not sure how old absentdaughter was when she started shaving her legs, but I am pretty sure that I was about 12 myself. It's not like demanding plastic surgery, a tattoo, or piercings. Sometimes it's easier to go with the flow until there is something important.

At the same time, absentdaughter lived with the mantra, "You don't have to do what everyone else does and you don't have to do things they way everyone else does them." She didn't and, in some ways, made life very difficult for herself, but she has turned out okay.

gillybob Thu 08-Sep-16 07:36:47

personally I would let her shave her legs . Why put her through the possible agony of being teased for having hairy legs? Children can be cruel and young girls can be particularly bitchy ( even at such a young age) . If it were my DGD(she's 10 so could easily be her ) I would buy her some good safety lady razors and some gentle foam snd show her how to do it properly . I was bullied at school for all sorts of silly things ( because my parents insisted that their way was right and everyone else was wrong) and I would never put my child or grandchild through that .

Purpledaffodil Thu 08-Sep-16 07:20:20

Isn't that interesting Tanith ?There are obviously local variations on Year 7 fashion grin. I couldn't believe those girls in their thick tights when the temperatures were in the high70s. The rest of the population were wearing shorts and strappy tops, or cropped trousers and short sleeves if they were a granny on a school Good luck with the shaved legs, it is a prickly issue. shock

tanith Wed 07-Sep-16 20:02:58

Purpledaffodil thanks for doing some research I hope you were discreet grin , GD actually asked for short socks rather than long ones/tights we live very near to her High school and all the kids walk past our house so I have also discreetly checked out the fashion of the girls making their way to school and by far the majority wear short black socks so she is definitely in the gang as it were.

Purpledaffodil Wed 07-Sep-16 19:50:16

In the interests of research I looked at the legs of the secondary school pupils on their way home as I went on the primary school run. All the girls bar one were wearing opaque black tights and it was a very hot day. The exception was wearing short black socks which looked surprisingly good. Could not make out how smooth her legs were at a distance smile
Could it be that the GD actually wants tights (NOT woolly ]rather than short socks? At the age of 14 I " persuaded" my mother to allow me to wear make up by going out with talcum powder on my face. I must have looked like a banshee and she relented. grin

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.

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

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

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

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!

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?

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.

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.

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

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.