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Why my imaginary daughter isn't allowed to wax her pubes

Maria Mora is a freelance writer and single mom fueled by coffee, questionable time management skills, toaster oven waffles and the color orange. She lives in Florida with her two young sons. If you see her on Twitter, tell her to stop p...

Young teens are getting Brazilians and it makes me want to claw my face off

Girls are removing their pubic hair as soon as it appears. Is this shocking or just the new normal?

Remember when puberty was exciting?

When I was 15, my bush was already a thing of beauty. I remember my very blond mother spotting me in the bathroom and telling me how jealous she was of it. Magnificent and all, my pubic hair wasn't really for public consumption, so I did some trimming before hitting the beach. Call me sheltered, but I didn't go for the full shaving routine until I got to college. Big shocker — it was because a boy shamed me into it, not because I wanted to.

A friend of mine casually mentioned that her 15-year-old daughter shaves everything regularly. "Really I think as soon as girls start getting hair now they shave it off," she tells me. "Her 14-year-old best friend shaves it off too. All of it." Another friend of mine is an ultrasound tech. She said that all of the girls over 12 she sees for procedures are completely waxed or shaved. "I've been doing this for 10 years and have never seen anything like it," she says. "I finally asked one friendly patient and she told me it starts in middle school."

Girls are taught to hate their body hair

I "borrowed" my mom's razor and secretly tried to shave my arms when I was 10. I thought all the peach-fuzz there meant I looked like a hairy boy, and my friends were already shaving their legs. At the time, I had no idea that women removed their pubic hair. These days, the pressure is clearly on to stay forever hairless, as if trapped at the cusp of puberty. What happened to being excited over those first valiant sprouting pubes?

I'm all about women having authority over their own bodies and appearances, but we're talking about tweens and young teens. These girls aren't removing their pubic hair in a vacuum. Call me crazy, but I think girls are told — directly and indirectly — that their developing bodies are gross. Periods? Gross and possibly smelly. Vaginas? Also smelly, so make sure you buy that deodorizing wash. Body hair? Completely gross.

My friend asked her 15-year-old daughter why she shaves everything. Her daughter said, "Because it's gross and sweaty and it feels cleaner when the hair's not there." She went on to recommend that Mom follow suit. "Dad would like it clean!"

Cute, or a subtle hint that girls are keeping men's expectations in mind?

Why I want my daughters to see my armpit hair >>

Who are we really shaving for?

For some women and girls, the pressure to remove pubic hair comes from men and their expectations. Hopefully you've never suffered through OKCupid, but if you have you know how many men state that women are obligated to shave and that they prefer their women's genitals completely shaven. I'm not saying that every woman who gets a Brazilian is doing so at her partner's behest, but I am saying that it's unbelievably uncool for tweens to be adhering to a weird societal standard with an inherently sexual foundation that also happens to be tied into the ideals of modern pornography.

I don't have a daughter, but I often wonder how I would raise one. Maybe it would make me the weirdest mom on the block, but I'd tell her that her entire body — pubes and all — is perfect and natural. And then I'd take away all of her razors.

More on teens and tweens

Why LGBT teens are turning to drugs
Is college really the best choice for your teen?
Teen dating isn't what it used to be

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