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Straight Talk: Girl, 16, faces pressure over not shaving

DEAR STRAIGHT TALK: I’m 16 and unlike most girls I know, I prefer to be natural and don’t shave or wax. My friends accept this as my business, however, my stepsisters, with whom I share a room every other weekend, say I look gross with pubic hair and proudly display their shave and wax jobs.

They say their boyfriends and nearly all guys prefer it. I have a boyfriend, but we aren’t to this point, however, someday in life, this point will come.

Does it really matter to guys if a girl shaves and waxes? Also, how do I deal with my stepsisters?

— Molly, Petaluma

Sarah, 16, Monclova, Ohio: The pressure to shave and wax is another way girls are made to feel insecure about their appearance. In all honesty, it’s a huge hassle and even harmful. Due to porn, it has become the norm for many guys to expect a hairless girl. What I’ve learned: If a guy respects and loves you, he’ll accept the natural you. If he doesn’t, he doesn’t deserve you.

Katelyn, 19, Huntington Beach: That your stepsisters make this an issue, but your friends don’t, shows who really cares. Remind them that you’re free to make your own choices. And dress in the bathroom.

Mae, 21, Santa Cruz: It’s true that today’s young men expect women to be shaved — BUT many guys (usually the good ones) don’t care at all. They’re just thrilled to be with you. I stopped at 19 because my then-boyfriend said, “Why do you shave?” And I was like, “Because I’m supposed to. . .?” And he said, “Well, I don’t care.” And that was it! I stopped. It’s incredibly uncomfortable to shave pubic hair, and Brazilian waxes (I’ve had one) are alarming painful. It’s great that you don’t shave. I’ll never go back. Your stepsisters are insecure. Don’t undress around them or anyone immature. As you get older, people become accepting. Tip: If things deepen with your boyfriend, explain ahead that you don’t shave in case he’s really reactive in the moment.

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