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The GEM Debate: Is 11 Too Young For THIS?

Um, HELL YES! Okay, deep breath as I dial it back a minute. I saw this piece and literally thought, what the hell is going on here? It’s about the boom in salon services for prepubescent girls and it’s not just the kids of celebrities. Apparently it’s big business among the small set and growing all the time.

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Now, I must confess a second here. When Casey turned four we had a princess themed party and we started the day at the salon. She had her hair washed and set on rollers and her mini-chiclet sized fingernails polished. She didn’t go back to the salon until well into her teenage years and even then, it’s for a minimalist manicure.


But it’s this bikini waxing thing on girls this young that makes my mouth drop open. REALLY, lady? Bikini waxing is a part of hygiene? Well what the heck did they do in the 1800’s then?

It’s really not the massage it’s the message. Spending hours in the salon to be beautiful is teaching our girls to focus on the wrong things. It’s one thing to want to look nice and many 11-year-olds do, in that fresh scrubbed way. But spending hours on end getting brows perfectly coiffed and taming the other unruly body hair seems to be going a bit far, especially at 11.

It’s hard enough for girls and the messages they’re bombarded with, from clothing to commercial television. A fun outing to the salon every now and again is fine (for certain services) but it needs to be sprinkled with a dash of realism, which is that beauty comes from within, not from OPI’s latest nail color and a 28-dollar blow out.

That’s my take what about you? Do you think this is too much too soon? Would you allow your preteen to have a bikini wax? How about a day at the salon? Lemme hear ya!



  1. Tiffany T

    December 2, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    I think a special day of getting your nails done with Mom on your birthday is one thing, but I’m with you. Too much too soon.

  2. Ella Rucker

    December 2, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Rene, I remember the first time I needed a little maintenance. It was at a water park and my parents let me out of the house in a neon green (it was hot at the time) one piece. Only problem was no one bothered to make sure a 12 year old had shaved. Who knew? Well, the look on my dad’s face was priceless. I say that to say this…most girls that age aren’t even aware that they need a little clip clip… it IS the parents that are making them feel a certain way about their now changing body. I wish I could hear from some of these girls and what of the little girls who’s moms don’t allow them to shave or wax? Are they being scrutinized as different by their friends during slumber parties, etc? Hum…

    No, I wouldn’t let my daughter partake. She is 19-months and yet to have her ears pierced because I believe that some things should be special between a mom and daughter. And let me tell ya…the first time this little girl gets a hot wax treatment of any kind is NOT one of the things we’ll be sharing…thank you VERY much!

  3. Cee

    December 2, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    Of course we should sexualize our young girls before they even menstruate!

    This is going way too far. I wish these parents (why are they always moms?) would let these children BE children.

  4. m.e. johnson

    December 2, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    I am too old to grasp any of this. Back in the day men liked hair… everywhere. I did my own nails and they were lovely. Had them done once in my life and didn’t enjoy the experience at all.

    Seems to me that by age 20, these children will be bored out of their gourd. “Ho hum, is that all there is?” They will have done it all. Or what if they or their parent(s) can’t afford it anymore?

    Bikini wax? I shudder even at the thought. Owie!
    And I’d give up chocolate to have my youthful eyebrows back. Actuall I only plucked the really wild ones (after about age 17).

  5. Katherine

    December 3, 2011 at 5:07 am

    As young girls hit puberty and hair begins to pop up in places that were once bare, measures need to be taken to remove them (of course I’m speaking of legs, underarms, upper lip etc) as is necessary for the particular child (some people grow more hair sooner than others) and obviously in accordance with the beliefs of the parent.

    Part of puberty is realizing that you are no longer a little girl and you have to begin to do things that adult women do, just like using sanitary napkins and deodorant, it may also be necessary to remove unwanted hair. I wasn’t coerced by my mother to start hair removal (she was actually against it at first) I just realized that it was my time, and took it upon myself. (read: she said no, I snuck her old dull ones, and nicked my shins until she bought me my own. lol)

    I was shaving my legs by 10 and tweezing my brows (myself) later that same year, so I can’t necessarily see it as unreasonable for girls aged 9-13 going in for certain waxing treatments (mainly eyebrows or underarms, anyone can just shave their legs).

    And as for the bikini wax:
    The way the video kind of glossed over that little tidbit leads me to believe that it may just be an isolated incident, as oppose to a popular menu item for the tween crowd. All I know is that if I had amounts of hair that could not be covered “down there” at 12, I would not be comfortable in a swimsuit. As long as we aren’t talking full brazilian, I’m not completely appalled.

  6. Elizabeth Betrand

    December 3, 2011 at 8:53 am

    I just got a bit emotional after reading this article, especially when I came to the part relating to the bikini wax. I am sad and appalled that parents, particularly the mothers, would want their girls to grow up so fast and to embrace superficial values. I think it would an understatement to say that I am against this for an 11 year old; it’s down right irresponsible and it’s conveying a bad message to our children – shame on the parents. It’s unfortunate that we live in a society that appearance holds a greater precedence over developing one’s character.

  7. Elizabeth Betrand

    December 3, 2011 at 8:57 am

    The only concern an 11 year old should be concerned about is if his or her hair, teeth, body and clothes are clean, and homework is done. That’s it.

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