Fierce

One Fierce Reader Asked Us When To Allow Her 10-Year-Old To Shave, So We Asked You– Here’s What We Learned

As Latinas, we often find humor in our collective struggle of dealing with our body hair. Some of us will spend literally thousands of dollars ripping it off, shaving it lasering it, while others will embrace it for what it is: wear it for what it is. Still, no matter how we approach dealing with our body hair, there’s often a question about how to deal with it and for Latinas, this is something we’ve dealt with since puberty. We all have stories about asking our mamas to let us shave our underarms our legs, particularly the peach fuzz on our upper lips, and recently  FIERCE by mitú received a letter from a concerned mother asking us this question:

“I’m a mother of a 10 year old, had my kids super young. I am also Mexican, and by that I mean to say I myself am pretty hairy, my daughter is going through pre-puberty, she’s starting to grow breast[s] and alooooot of body hair… She ha[s] a unibrow and hair [o]n her legs which makes her super self-conscious.⁠ We’ve talked about beauty, and her own beauty, as I caught her thinking if she dyed her hair blond she would look more beautiful, or if she had lighter skin. I even caught her not wanting to eat dinner because she didn’t want to get fat.⁠ I’m super concerned about what she thinks beauty means, even when I constantly reassure her… I’d like to get an opinion from other empowered Latinas as to how young is too young to let a little girl shave and [do] her eyebrows.” ⁠

We asked our followers on Instagram what they had to say about when they thought was an appropriate age to talk with young girls about body hair removal.

From the responses, it looks as if a few points are clear:

1. Young women know by themselves what the right time is.

@gillettevenus/Instagram

“I think the topic should be brought up but let them decide to do so when they are ready. I started shaving my legs at around 16. I would stare at my legs during PE class in middle school and would think, ‘ I wonder what the guys think of my hairy legs…’ Lol but I waited until I felt ready, not pressured. My mom never really talked to me about these things so I decided it on my own. Everyone is different though, but I think a girl should be able to decide when at her own time. ~ i do wish my mom would have told me not to shave above the knees”. -Jessica

2. Talking to your children is of primary importance.

@skintimate/Instagram

“Teach them that these things are natural and razors and wax exist because it’s normal for everyone of different colors, shapes and sizes. If she’s interested in shaving or doing her eyebrows, encourage her to do it (safely and to a reasonable extent). It’s better that she’s comfortable in her own skin and that as a mom, you know what she’s doing to her body as opposed to having another 10 year old give her advice. I had to shave my legs behind my moms back and I had razor bumps forever before I found the internet to get tips on how to do it better.” -Alessandra

3. Body hair removal should be on a young woman’s “own terms.”

@ainhoaffotografia/Instagram

“I think it’s better to let her do it on her own terms. Up until I was in seventh grade, I hadn’t shaved my legs. A boy in class asked me ‘why don’t you shave your legs?’ That night, my mom let me shave my legs. It should be on her terms.” -Celeste

4. The teasing we encounter due to body hair can be harmful and have long-lasting effects.

@gillettevenus/Instagram

“My mom found me shaving when I was around 10 years old and got so angry that my dad went to my rescue and told her that I was probably just mimicking her. That helped me not get la faja but I was self-conscious about my very hairy legs and bob haircut that had my classmates calling me niña-varón“. -Laura

5. Discussion can help parents decide how to proceed.

@rkmua16/Instagram

“My kid is 10 and so far she hasn’t mentioned it. Thanks ladies for all your stories. This validated what my plans are when that day comes she wants to shave. She doesn’t want to pluck or wax her eyebrows cause she says she doesn’t want the pain…. hey, fine with that. I know that day will come and I will show her how to shave her legs and deal with the rest of her body correctamente.” -Sofia

6. Sometimes, strict rules can backfire.

@elizest___13/Instagram

“I had hairy legs and I wanted to shave as soon as I got to 6th grade PE class. However my mom did not let me. When my sister got to 6th grade, our mom also did not let her but she did it regardless, so upon seeing her do it, I did it in 9th grade without my moms consent. Now that my sister is a mom she promotes whatever her daughter wants to do (as long as she isn’t doing it to ‘fit in’ and simply wants to do it for herself) and even our mom is okay with it after seeing that we did it regardless. She’s said that if she could go back she would because of all the teasing I received throughout high school.” – Iris

7. Shaving can be addictive, it can also be a relief.

@tweezerman/Instagram

“I didn’t start removing body hair until 8th grade. It was for the promotional dance. My mom bought hair removal cream for my arms and my sister tweezed my unibrow. LOL ???? i remember thinking WOOOOOW, I look so different! I got made fun of for having super hairy arms when i was little, so I never looked back and kept at it throughout high school and college. Ahora no me importa, now I can go weeks without shaving” – @skull_flower

8. Conversations about shaving can be tearful.

@coalitionsnow/Instagram

“I was 10 I think. I had a similar experience as her daughter – I was/am super hairy, and growing up in a very white community, I had visibly hairy legs (and pits). My mom wouldn’t let me shave until I broke down crying after gym class in 5th grade. Anyways, now I don’t shave at all – our bodies grow hair for a reason and I love my body. I get it though, being 10 is the worst”. – Alicia

9. You don’t have to wait for your child to bring it up.

@gillettevenus/Instagram

“As soon as it bothers her [enough to] address it. It takes years to build the confidence to walk around with body hair. Years! Kids at school can be cruel.” -Miriam

10. You can set a due date.

@billie/Instagram

“That’s a hard one. I’m also the mother of a 10 year old girl. I let her shave her legs when she turned 10. I was the same she. We’re not only hairy, but we have dark hair, with light skin. I remember what it was like, being teased about my hairy legs. So if it gives her a little more confidence, then so be it. What I did tell her is that, because we are so hairy, with dark hair, our eyebrows were beautiful. They’re naturally thick… now she wants to get her brows threaded for shape though”. -Stephanie

11. Butttt maybe tell her why she might not want to touch her eyebrows.

@thebrowfessional/Instagram

“My mom NEVER let me or anyone touch my eyebrows and after 25 years on this earth not one person (but myself) have touched these brows. I am PROUD of the strong eyebrows I inherited. I started to shave my armpit hair at about 11, legs at about 13/14, and pubic hair (because of peer pressure) at 15. I am firmly in the camp that likes to shave my body hair, but my bestie grows hers like a forest and I love her for it. I remember when my prima started to grow leg hair and she wanted to shave because girls were making fun of her. I told her to do what she wanted and not what they wanted.” -Ava

12. Singling out can happen.

@skintimate/Instagram

” [I was in the] 3rd grade, but I can remember feeling so embarrassed about the black hairs on my legs and arms as early as 1st grade. All the white kids would stare and ask. I even had a white boy tell me I had a mustache to my face!” -Cristina

13. Have “the talk” with her right before middle school.

@mercurykristen/Instagram

“My mom sat me down and had a talk with me about my body hair before entering middle school. I was so naive and didn’t even think I’d encounter the kind of bullying I experienced over HAIR. Sorry, I just have more body hair than you??? Like what? I was 15 when I started waxing and shaving my body.” – Zoe

14. Be sure #bodylove is part of the conversation.

@johnnys.eyebrows/Instagram

“If we didn’t have to shave because of our beauty standards we wouldn’t. I wear pants most of the year so I don’t have to. Nobody likes feeling the pain of the eyebrow threading or waxing. I only did it because I got picked on by everyone and my mom would hit me when I did. I’m 24 and my mom says no to shaving but she doesn’t have to because she’s as smooth as a whale. Always teach them to love their body . Ask them if they are doing it for them or for someone else? Extrinsic motives aren’t as good as intrinsic. #loveyourbody”. -Nubia

15. Don’t let her feel pressured to remove it. Show her all of her options.

@greenwavebodywaxing/Instagram

“Responding from my laser hair removal place…I shaved my legs for the first time at age 10. My brother used to tease me mercilessly about my hairy legs. He’s 7 years older. I became so self-conscious that I started wearing pantyhose every day, even with shorts! I begged my parents to let me shave. They eventually and VERY reluctantly said yes. My mom was attending night school at the time and had to go to class, so my father demonstrated how to do it. So much pressure to be perfectly hairless. I admire those who don’t feel compelled to succumb to the pressure. She’s beautiful with or without the hair!” – Felicia

16. After all, there’s a lot to love about our body hair.

@billie/Instagram

“I think any age is the appropriate age to begin a conversation about what beauty means and the more specific to this post, the options women have especially if those young girls are bringing it up already! I believe I started removing body hair when I was around 11 or 12 years old. Shaving my legs was something I figured I had to do if it was noticeable, but something I would do that I no longer do was shave my arms because other girls would boast about how smooth their arms were and it made me feel ashamed for having darker noticeable arm hair. Now, I love it!” -Carmen

17. Mothers should let their daughters shave when their children “feel the need.”

@neha_14692/Instagram

“My mom let my sister and I shave when we felt the need. We could always go talk to her about stuff like that. She never wanted us to get picked on because we grew up in a very white community. I think it’s super important to continue reminding and showing her what beauty really is. My concern would be why she is feeling so self-conscious. Who or what is influencing her to think she needs to meet certain beauty standards. I reached a point where I would shave every day during the summer and I would occasionally shave during winter for God knows what reason. Now I couldn’t care less if I have some visible stubble because I was too lazy to shave.” -Stephanie

https://wearemitu.com/mitu-voice/to-shave-or-not-to-shave-that-is-the-question/

TikTok Queen Rosa And Her Creator Adam Ray Okay Get The Magazine Spotlight

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TikTok Queen Rosa And Her Creator Adam Ray Okay Get The Magazine Spotlight

Even if you are living under the rock now called self-quarantine, if you’re online you probably definitely heard about Rosa. Within just a matter of months, the fun-loving jefa with crooked ashes and some shocking cheek contours has won over fans.

The character, created by Instagram and TikTok user AdamRayOkay has shot to fame, even getting invitations from Rihanna to her Fenty Tik Tok house. In a recent interview with Paper Magazine, the newly minted TikTok star spoke about her rise to social stardom and the crazy world we are currently living in.

Speaking about quarantine life, Rosa had a message of fans to remain positive and keep their chin up.

Paper Magazine/ Instagram

“I’m just trying to stay positive [and] I want to make other people feel positive,” 20-year-old Adam Ray Okay told Paper. “So I’m just trying to put as much content on there as possible, on the internet. Just because right now both the internet and the actual real world are in a really dark place. So yeah, I’m just trying to stay positive.

On what inspired them to create Rosa, Okay explained she was easy to come up with because everyone can relate to her.

Paper Magazine / Instagram

“I had downloaded the TikTok app and I was just scrolling, doing my thing. I wasn’t really thinking of making my own content. And then I just got inspired by myself, my childhood growing up and, like you said, everybody knows this Rosa character and I felt that she had been forgotten about… So once I brought her back, everybody was just so familiar with her and that’s why I felt she did really well,” Okay said, going onto explain that just about every Latino knows a girl like Rosa. “She’s everywhere. So, even if you didn’t grow up with somebody like her, you know how she is. She’s predictable in an unpredictable way. She’s just so familiar… she is part of everybody.”

Speaking about going viral, Okay explained that they were shocked when heavy appreciation for Rosa began to come in.

Paper Magazine / Instagram

“I was honestly shocked. Like I said, putting my first video up there, I didn’t expect any of this to happen. So it made me feel good because I’m able to put my community out there like that, in a positive way. And I don’t know, I just… Even today I get the same exact feelings that when I first went viral because I just feel it’s so crazy that I can give Rosa this platform and express who she is and where she came from and stuff that.”

Okay also said that Rosa has given them a chance to fully embrace their interests in beauty and fashion.

“As Adam, I enjoy beauty. Makeup is something that I enjoy doing. So it definitely was a huge welcome and there was so much that I got to experience from the other beauty creators. I definitely enjoyed it, especially because everybody just does their makeup in a different way. So being able to see how everybody else does it differently. It’s so dope to see other creators discuss that.”

All Of The Latina Beauty Brands To Support During The Coronavirus Crisis

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All Of The Latina Beauty Brands To Support During The Coronavirus Crisis

Reina Rebelde / Instagram

There’s no denying that we love beauty. Some of us learned early on to take good care of our skin, and to have fun with our makeup. So it’s not surprising that so many beauty brands are Latinx-owned.

From natural skincare brands to bold and edgy makeup lines, there’s a variety of Latinx-owned beauty brands to support. There’s a mix between indie, under-the-radar brands to celeb-approved ones. So whether you love wearing a bold red lip, or would rather focus on skincare, then there’s a little something for everyone.

1. Reina Rebelde

Credit: Instagram / @reinarebelde

Created by Texas native, Regina Merson, Reina Rebelde was made for unapologetic babes. With playful shade names like La Doña and Coqueta, this bold brand speaks to Latinx’s who are not only fearless but fierce AF.

2. Sigma Beauty

Credit: Instagram / @sigmabeauty

Aside from its dazzling makeup products, Sigma Beauty creates the best beauty tools on the market. All of their tools are genius, too. For example, its Dry’n Shape brush cleaner deep cleans, dries, and reshapes your brushes, while the Titanium brush set is literally indestructible; its made so your brushes will NEVER fall apart. But when you learn about Sigma’s founders, Simone Xavier and Rene Xavier Filho, it’s easy to see why their products are made with a purpose. Brazil natives, Rene has a background in civil engineering and business administration, while Simone has a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and a Masters in veterinary science. Talk about a power couple.

3. Lunar Beauty

Credit: Instagram / @lunarbeauty

Founded by one of the biggest YouTube and Instagram beauty influencers, Manny Gutierrez (aka Manny MUA), this brand is all about celebrating your most authentic self. The San Diego native made sure to create a line that’s not only fun but one that’s inclusive.

4. Gaby Espino

Credit: Instagram / @gabyespinostore

Venezuelan telenovela star, Gaby Espino, launched a line of super pigmented lipsticks. From bright pinks to sultry purples to deep reds, there’s a little something for everyone. The best part? There’s not one type of lipsticks. There’s a range of mattes, extreme mattes, glosses, creams, velvets, and more.

5. Tata Harper Skincare

Credit: Instagram / @tataharperskincare

Founded by Colombiana, Tata Harper, this 100% natural skincare line has become a cult-fave among celebs and beauty lovers alike. The brand was created after Tata couldn’t find high-quality, natural products in the beauty market. Thanks to her, that void has now been filled. People don’t have to risk their health in order to get great skincare results.

6. Besame Cosmetics

Credit: Instagram / @besamecosmetics

Cosmetics historian, artist, and designer, Gabriela Hernandez, created Besame Cosmetics after a life-long love for vintage makeup. Aside from its retro packaging and products (the lipsticks are replicas of shades from the past and the cake mascara is a product stars from the Golden Age of cinema used), Besame will make you feel special and glamorous.

7. Melt Cosmetics

Credit: Instagram / @meltcosmetics

Latina makeup artist Lora Arellano co-founded Melt Cosmetics with her bestie Dana Bomer. Together, they’ve built a beauty empire with their vibrant eyeshadows, bold lipstick shades, pigmented blushes, and dazzling highlighters. Lora’s background in beauty is just as amazing as the products she helps create. She started working the makeup counter at Nordstrom to doing Rihanna’s makeup on tour to creating a successful makeup empire.

8. Joanna Vargas Skincare

Credit: Instagram / @jvskincare

Similar to Tata Harper, Joanna Vargas’ eponymous skincare brand is dedicated to plant-based ingredients that work. Not only is Joanna one of the most sought-after facialists in Hollywood—celebs flock to her before major events—but her luxury products are worth every penny. The New York-based Latina has been in the skincare business for over a decade, so she knows a thing or two about beauty.

9. KL Polish

Credit: Instagram / @klpolish

KL Polish was created by one of YouTube’s most popular beauty gurus, Kathleen Fuentes (aka Kathleen Lights). After having successful beauty collaborations with ColourPop and Morphe, the Cubana branched out to launch her own nail polishes. The shades in each collection are bright, bold, and vibrant just like Kathleen herself.

10. Dominique Cosmetics

Credit: Instagram / @dominiquecosmetics

Another successful beauty YouTuber, Christen Dominique, launched an eponymous makeup brand called Dominique Cosmetics. From her first coffee-themed palette to her latest lemonade-inspired one, all of her products will make you want to have fun with your looks.

11. Chaos Makeup

Credit: Instagram / @chaosmakeup

The brand’s founder, Megan Martinez, has created one of the most exciting makeup brands on the market. Their color-changing shadows are truly one-of-a-kind. And once beauty lovers discovered the mesmerizing rainbow highlighter, they pretty much broke the internet. While Martinez’s unique brand is quickly becoming a cult-fave among pros, her story is what really makes us admire her. She went from being homeless at the age of 14 to building a beauty empire.

12. Orlando Pita Play

Credit: Instagram / @orlandopita

Cuban hairstylist Orlando Pita has worked with the biggest stars, including Beyoncé, Anne Hathway, Kate Moss, and Bella and Gigi Hadid. So it’s not surprising that after years of working as a celeb hairstylist that he wouldn’t create his own eponymous hair care line. And luckily for us, we can achieve that same celebrity-approved hair with his line of amazing products.

13. Vive Cosmetics

Credit: Instagram / @vivecosmetics

Vive is a makeup brand created by Latinxs for Latinxs — and its two founders, Joanna Rosario and Leslie Valdivia, stand by that. With vibrant lipstick shades to choose from, like hot pinks, oranges, and reds, these are the colors you’ll want to wear all summer long. Each lipstick has a cheeky name, too, like Pan Dulce, Luchadora, and Cumbia. There’s even a sultry purple liquid lip inspired by Selena Quintanilla.

14. Loquita Bath and Body

Credit: Instagram / @loquitabathandbody

Known for making novelty products like the always sold out mangoneada, elote, and bidi bidi bath bombs, Mira Perez’s beauty brand is unlike any other. Aside from its playful bath bombs, the brand makes the most heavenly face masks, scrubs, and lip balms.

15. Rizos Curls

Credit: Instagram / @rizoscurls

Julissa Prado created Rizos Curls after struggling to find products that worked for her curly hair. She not only perfected her products to work for all curl types, but she set out to make formulas that were made with high-quality ingredients. Now, curly-haired babes can enjoy and celebrate their hair in all its glory.

16. Brujita Skincare

Credit: Instagram / @brujitaskincare

Founded by Leah Guerrero, Brujita Skincare literally brings the magia to your beauty routine. The holistic beauty brand is enriched with mineral earth powders and clays sourced from the mercados of Mexico. Not only will these products heal your skin naturally, but you’ll feel Mother Nature’s enchanting powers.

17. No B.S. Skincare

Credit: Instagram / @livenobs

Like the cheeky name suggests, this skincare brand doesn’t mess around. Its skincare is made with effective plant-based, natural ingredients. Basically, they stripped away all of the bullshit. The products don’t have anything on their “shit list” like sulfates, parabens, artificial fragrances, etc. Even better? They even got rid of b.s. marketing. The brand’s Instagram feed and website are filled with daily affirmations that will make you want to live your best life. For example, they have a postcard that reads: “severely allergic to the b.s.” Agreed.

18. Mia Del Mar

Credit: Instagram / @miadelmarbeauty

While Mia Del Mar hasn’t debuted all of its products just yet, this Latinx-owned brand is all about celebrating your roots. And with ingredients that have been passed down through generations, this line will mainly focus on skin care that’s both trendy and traditional.

19. Gabriel Cosmetics

Credit: Instagram / @gabrielcosmetics

Gabriel Cosmetics, founded by Gabriel De Santino, has been around since 1992. Inspired by his own personal experience with botanical skincare, the cosmetics line creates some of the best natural products.

20. Alamar Cosmetics

Credit: Instagram / @alamarcosmetics

Gabriella Trujillo went from Boxycharm’s in-house makeup artist to launching her own brand, Alamar Cosmetics. The makeup line is a celebration of the Cubana’s heritage, and its first product, the Reina del Caribe Vol. 1 eyeshadow palette, is proof.