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Why I'd let my 9-year-old wax her face

Amy Hatch began her career as a print journalist, and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She lives in Urbana, Ill. with her husband and two children.

Waxing makes me feel confident, I want my kid to feel the same way

I feel better when my face is as smooth as a baby's bottom. Why wouldn't I want my daughter to feel that way too?

I was about 12 years old when my mom taught me how to bleach my mustache.

"Here, honey," she said, mixing up the Jolen Creme Bleach paste on a little plastic square. "This will take care of that dark hair under your nose."

That marked the start of my lifelong battle with the facial hair embedded in my Eastern European genes. When I was 21 years old, I discovered waxing. At last, for six glorious weeks, my face would be hair free. I no longer had to paint my upper lip with a burning, stinky bleach solution that just turned my lush Tom Selleck a weird blonde color. My daughter, God love her, is going to follow in my furry-faced footsteps.

She's a gorgeous kid. She has tawny, flawless skin and the profile of a Victorian cameo. Her hair is a wild, fantastic tangle of cowlicks and curls. Her eyes appear to be a dark, velvety brown from a distance, but the first boy who gets close enough to spot it will fall in love with the subtle nimbus of blue that plays peekaboo with her pupil.

But, my DNA is strong on that one. And it won't end with a lady 'stache. The hair I have waxed off my body on a monthly basis could easily be knit into sweaters I could sell to hipsters on Etsy. So, when my daughter comes to me and asks what to do about the hair on her lip (and other areas), I'll pick up the phone and make an appointment for her at my salon.

People can be very cruel, and facial hair makes you a target for teasing. It's an easy fix. It's relatively inexpensive and only momentarily painful. It's mainstream, even expected, that women will get waxed.

I wax my face and body because it makes me feel clean and well-groomed, just like my husband shaves his face. It's something I do to maintain my body and make myself feel good and confident, just like when I get a pedicure every six weeks. I want my daughter, as she becomes a young woman, to have the same sense of well-being and confidence.

More stories about tweens and body image

Books to boost your daughter's body image
Teen body image, courtesy of Mom's issues
Your naked body isn't going to scar your kid for life

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