Waxing Children – Bannatyne vs Mumsnet

When is an acceptable age to allow your daughter to wax? And would you take her to a salon to have this done?

Tricky question, and one I have been pondering this morning since reading on Twitter that Duncan Bannatyne has taken umbrage at the comments made by Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts, about his spa offering waxing to 13 year old girls.

Linking to the article in the Daily Star, Bannatyne posted


I am disgusted to see Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts saying mothers should not have individual choice of how to bring up daughters


What Justine actually said was


You’d hope there’d be a longer period of grace for girls to be girls and not obsess about being hairless


And I agree with her. We should not be encouraging our children to wax their legs at 13 years old. We should not be taking them to salons or spas to get waxes, as if it were as normal as going to the dentist.



I am not saying that if my daughter were to be unusually hairy, that I would refuse permission for her to remove the hairs, be it waxing or shaving. I am not saying that no child under the age of 16 years should be forbidden to do this. Most teenage girls do not need to remove their body hair. I can only remember one or two girls in our school who were particularly hairy.

There is a difference though, between accepting it as a necessary act if a child is upset about it, and promoting waxing as a service to girls who should not be worrying about a little bit of fluff on their legs.

It bothers me that girls are not allowed to be girls, that they are increasingly shoved towards adulthood. That we as a society are encouraging girls to concentrate on their appearance. That their role models are models and singers whose whole career is built up on looking good. How many unattractive women singers are there in the charts at the moment? And if Britney, Rhianna or Lily Allen are photographed looking anything but perfect, the tabloids tear them apart.

Last year I saw an advert in Geneva for a children’s spa.

I laughed and thought, “Only in Geneva!” Not laughing now. Now we have salons in UK offering similar deals. To children who should not be worrying about their appearance yet.

Our girls have the rest of their lives to be adults, let us let them enjoy being children for a little longer.





According to Mumsnet, this was the full quote she gave the Star – obviously they ‘forgot’ to include the bit about pre-teens, not teens:


“It’s a great shame – and a growing problem – that pre-teens are wasting time and money or more likely their parents’ hard-earned cash removing their perfectly normal body hair. You’d hope that there would be a longer period of grace for girls to just be girls and not obsess about being hairless.”