It's gonna get sappy up in here.
The idea of hairlessness as a mark of youth never applied to me. Like many dark-haired people, I was practically born with a soft coat of downy fuzz. I decided the hair had to go around age 11 -- all of it. My mother -- a total beauty enabler -- took me to have my arms, legs and moustache waxed in the sixth grade, and so began a life of hair removal.
Hairless since way back when
I also remember having my hair highlighted professionally at age 12, before any of my friends. "You were always aware of how things looked," said my mother when I called to ask how this whole childhood grooming thing went down. "Not in an insecure way, you just noticed everything." I was into in beauty treatments the way that other young girls might have been obsessed with American Girl dolls or horses.
On the flip side, Emily started shaving her legs at age 11 after she was hair-shamed at summer camp. "I had never even thought about it before," she added. "It made me feel really bad."
I asked Jane about her 9-year-old Charlotte's beauty regimen. Unlike me, Jane has hairless genes, so waxing and shaving aren't on the radar, but she told me that Charlotte's first manicure may have been around age 2.
"I push her toward all of that," says Jane. "And of course I use the toxic nail polish and real remover."
When it comes to putting an age on grooming, it seems to me that the catalyst is what counts, not the start date. Madeline for example has never had a bikini wax. Instead she sports a full bush and gets it braided during the summer. I'm just kidding, you guys! She shaves.
When did you have your first salon beauty treatment? What about your children (if you have them)? I must know!
Talk to me about hair removal on Twitter @JR_Schott.