Should Parents Wax Their Preschooler’s Upper Lip?

A parenting magazine suggested that if a preschooler's upper lip hair is impacting their happiness that parents should wax it – and parents are peeved.

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Since when do younger kids have issues with their upper lip hair? I don’t remember any of the kids I went to school with having lip hair – except the boys in high school with their little peach fuzz mustaches, but that’s pretty typical for that age.

Preschoolers, though? No. Body hair shouldn’t even be on their radar.

In fact, the only thing that was on my radar when I was that age was what color I wanted to color Kermit the Frog and what flavor juice box I wanted at snack time.

And really, that’s how it still should be … but it’s not.

Parents, a parenting magazine, recently ran an article about preschoolers and their upper lip hair. It explained that thick upper lip hair can be a hormonal imbalance but also urged parents to trim, pluck or even wax their kids’ upper lip hair if it affected their happiness or self-esteem.

Naturally, parents were appalled by this kind of message and the mommy blogger behind Sturdy Mom Central even called out the magazine and asked what on earth the magazine was teaching kids about body image.

Quite frankly, the mom blogger has a point and parents everywhere have a right to be disgusted because there are all kinds of reasons why people might grow hair on their upper lip: a hormone imbalance, as mentioned in the article, is one reason. Genetics and puberty can also cause upper lip hair to grow.

And what do all of these reasons have in common? It’s the person’s natural body and that person can’t help it.

Plucking or waxing a child’s body hair at such a young and impressionable age can teach the child that there is something wrong with their natural body and their natural hair. But there isn’t anything wrong with them – because humans are mammals and mammals grow hair.

I suppose that if the hair is really making the child unhappy, then maybe it’s OK to remove the hair, but kids that age typically don’t think about upper lip hair. If they do, someone either put that idea in their head or they are struggling with their self-worth, and no amount of waxing is going to help either of those problems.

I mean, I’m all for living and looking exactly how you want to live and look – after all, I rock blue hair, facial piercings and tattoos – but it’s really important that kids, and really all people, learn to love the skin their in before they go altering it.

Things like makeup, shaving and body modifications should be done solely to enhance a person’s sense of self. They shouldn’t be used to fit into society’s mold of the “perfect person,” to stop bullying or as a shield to hide a person’s true self.

I guess the point I’m driving home here is not that there’s anything wrong with plucking or waxing lip hair – only that it’s important to teach kids to love what they have naturally, first. Then, only after they gain self-confidence, should they change what they have.

What do you think? Would you wax your kid’s upper lip for her happiness or do you think it’s crazy? Let us know in the comments.

Photo courtesy of Parents magazine

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