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Nair: Now For 10-Year-Olds!

Remember the story about pre-teens' crazy beauty routines? It looks like those girls might be part of a bigger trend. The New York Times reports on Nair's new endeavor: Marketing a new product line to 10- to 15-year-olds.

Intended for middle-schoolers, Nair Pretty is a chemical hair remover that comes in kiwi and peach scents. The packaging features illustrations of teenage girls, and along those lines, the print advertisements target the girls directly. “I am a citizen of the world,” they read. “I am a dreamer. I am fresh. I am so not going to have stubs sticking out of my legs.” (Heaven forbid a 10-year-old girl might have hair on her legs.) And then there's the website:

It's not that you're obsessed or anything but maybe you've noticed that the hair on your legs (and other parts of your body) is just a little bit thicker and darker before. Chill. You're growing up... it's all good.

("It's all good?" What is this, 1995?) Dorky "teenspeak" aside, it bothers me that Nair is going after sixth graders. I'm sure pre-teens are curious about hair removal, but by actively targeting them, Nair is creating even more anxiety about puberty—an already anxious thing for most girls. Likewise, the emphasis on being pretty is a little depressing, since the implication is that you won't be pretty if you've got a little fuzz on your legs (or bikini line, as the Nair website helpfully mentions). I have no problem with girls eventually choosing to remove their hair, but there's something sad about thrusting that expectation on ten-year-olds. What do you think? Let me know, and then tell DearSugar what you think, too.

princess325 princess325 9 years
I started shaving in 6th grade at age 11 because I had very dark hair on my legs, and I felt to embarrased to wear shorts or skirts or anything. Most girls I knew also started shaving then. I believe that if a girl wants to and she really does need to shave, she should be able to. But this stuff for teens? And ten-year-olds? No way. Nothing wrong with a razor. The chemicals in this stuff should not be used on a ten-year-old.
groovy911 groovy911 9 years
when was 10 i was embarrased because i had a LOT of hair on my legs & it took to long to use electric; to hard for razors. TEACHERS would look discuted @ my legs! wish they had this then.
tglynn tglynn 9 years
Well, I don't see the problem. I hit puberty at nine, and started shaving then.
Lyv Lyv 9 years
Right, the way they're selling it IS pretty lame, but. What's the big deal? Almost every girl I know started shaving when they were 11 and so did I. You're treating this like it's some huge, malevolent peer-pressure issue, but did you consider that maybe some people just don't like body hair and want to remove it because they find it annoying, regardless of what other people will think? Plus if something makes you feel prettier and it's not threatening your health or overly expensive or whatever... why should you be so offended by it?
ohjeeze ohjeeze 9 years
PandaMonkey where did you get that statistic because from what I've read the statistics on teens and sex have stayed relatively the same for the past 30+ years. It is the fear mongering the media dishes out that makes people think it is getting worse. I'm guessing that many of the women here must be natural blondes so the hair was relatively invisible. You all probably did not have older sisters who were also shaving. I have really dark hair and I started puberty around 9 so my body hair started growing fast. My mother was very reluctant but she let me start shaving at 12. Yes, this whole women must shave has to do with society and the media telling us that beautiful women don't have hairy legs, but we eat it up and pass it down to our children. I don't see anything wrong with this product they are targeting towards teens not little girls. If these girls want to and their parents don't have a problem with it they should also be allowed to Nair. I know I'd rather Nair than use a blade and risk getting cut.
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 9 years
Ew. Just... no. At 10, you shouldn't be thinking of body hair - or removing it - and even at the upper end of that age range, it's still not the biggest deal in the world. The suggestion that girls that young need to be removing hair from the bikini line is probably most offensive, though - no way does any 10 or 12 or even 14 year old need to be attempting to look like the (unnatural) ideal of beauty for an adult woman. This is just not classy at all...
Kellylicious Kellylicious 9 years
i was obsessed with shaving my legs when i was little (the first time my mom caught me shaving, i was about 4 or 5!). when i was 10, i cut my leg pretty badly, so at least nair is better than a razor. side note: my mother did not let me shave, and i would search the bathroom for the hidden razors.
danig danig 10 years
raise your hand if you think a bunch of male brains dreamed up this marketing campaign. ugh.
EatYourVeggies EatYourVeggies 10 years
That's seriously effed. I think if a girl is going through puberty and decides to shave, no matter what age, that it's up to the parents and the girl. There are so many outside influences nowadays that it seems impossible for good parents to keep their children innocent. It's awful that Nair encourages young, awkward girls to Nair their bikini line.
mominator mominator 10 years
I really think this depends on the kid. What is right at this age for one may not be right for another. So my 10yr old is really developed for her age and I wasn't. So because she is only 10 I should not buy her a bra because I did not get my training bra until I was 12. That's crazy. Shaving your legs is not going to make you go sleep with someone and get pregnant. My 11yr old (who does shaves) does not do it all the time. It is called communicating and talking about all those things with your daughter. She shaves her legs and under her arms (which get hairy) but I do not let her wear shorty shorts or revealing clothes. Trust me when I say I am the most over protective mother you will find but because I felt my daughter needed to shave because her body is developed like a 14yr old I am a bad mother. Give me a break.
pandamonkey22 pandamonkey22 10 years
one more thing kids are having sex when they are younger and younger i mean 30% of girls in America loose their virginity before the age of 13 and these things just encourage this!
pandamonkey22 pandamonkey22 10 years
WTF i started shaving at 12! this is stupid my best friend has a 10 year old sister and we worry about her growing up too fast and now we finally see a new source, i am ashamed to admit that she probably gets some ideas from being with be and my bff. But still this really pisses me off teenagers and pre-teens have enough to think about we don't need this stuff coming earlier!
JustineyBoBeeny JustineyBoBeeny 10 years
Oh my word. I'm grown and shave sparingly. I hate it. Women of the world should teach little girls that there is a reason to wait as long as you can to do these daunting tasks. The question remains: Why do WOMEN shave their legs? There is a reason, and every woman on here knows it, and we can pretty much all agree 10 year old have no business wanting to shave for this reason.
poizenisxkandee poizenisxkandee 10 years
AHAHAHA this product screams BABYHOE. you know what i mean? the middle schooler at a pool party in a bikini; thinking she's all if she had anything to PUT in a bikini. yes, kids go through puberty and grow up; luckily i was a nerd who didn't care that much. Didn't start shaving my legs until high school, even. Didn't start taking care of other things til around the same time either. I don't consider myself prudish in any way, nor do I find myself very old fashioned; but this, like those horrific Bratz dolls; are so inappropriate for children that age. It might be because my sister is in 7th grade and I see what it has done to her; but myself am only 17 and am utterly just confused why a 12 year old would need to remove body hair.
sunshinevaness sunshinevaness 10 years
I have to say that if you are really hairy at that age and it bothers you then why not if it helps your self-esteem i say go for it.
quelle quelle 10 years
disgusting. i already look back shamefully that i fell to the marketing found in highschool magazines (ym and seventeen anyone?) that brainwashed me to freak out over the tiniest bit of hair on my legs when i was 14.
chrysanthemums chrysanthemums 10 years
Don't they realize how harmful this is? Not just playing to the insecurities of preteen girls... but all those chemicals used to melt away hair follicles can't be good for your skin. if they start using that stuff so early... just imagine what will happen to their skin.
cleegiants cleegiants 10 years
i agree with a lot of people - it's not the idea of having to shave/use nair products, but the active marketing towards these young girls. it's really a shame that the "innocence of a child" is really not so innocent anymore. 10 years old is not a time to worrying if you have hair on your legs. I've never tried Nair and this makes me even more determined not to. I don't want to support a company that targets these young girls.
piraterie piraterie 10 years
The product I don't really have a problem with, but the marketing is terrible. I remember that when I was 10 (almost 17 years ago now), I felt pressured enough by just my best friend into making sure I was beautiful - that was bad enough; I can't imagine dealing with all the pressure preteens get from the world these days. I think I started shaving my legs when I turned 11 (5th grade); I needed to shave my armpits by that point, and my mother thought I might as well just do my legs as well. But I was definitely in the minority among the girls in my class for at least a couple years. I started wearing makeup around the same time. And I was an early bloomer, so I was in bras by 3rd grade (and was so embarrassed about it). So I guess I started all that stuff sort of early - at least among the girls I knew - but I was certainly never all tramped up like you'll see girls that age now looking. And I was still climbing trees and playing with Barbies - I wasn't really trying to be grown up before my time.
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