I Won’t Hesitate To Pluck My 7-Year Old’s Eyebrows If She Asks Me To
I am half Italian. I was literally born hairy and have dealt with getting rid of unwanted hair for over 20 years of my life. I barely give it a second thought now- it’s just part of my personal hygiene routine. Any woman of Mediterranean descent can relate, I’m sure. I love my cultural background for so many reasons and I look at the extra hair I have to pluck out a few times a week as penance for also having a full head of thick hair on my head and an olive-toned complexion that browns after 20 minutes in the sun. You take the good with the bad, I suppose.
I married a man who is also of Italian descent so obviously, our kids are too. Our son is on the paler side and favors his Irish/Welsh/German/Polish roots. Our daughter, however, is straight-up Italian in her appearance. She is a beautiful child and has a ton of dark brown hair and huge chocolatey brown eyes. She also, at the age of nearly seven, has a faint uni-brow. She kind of always has and I know it is pretty typical of kids of our heritage. It does not bother me in the least and at this time, she seems unaware of it’s existence but if the day comes where she tells me she wants it gone, I won’t hesitate to pluck my child’s eyebrows.
I realize how this sounds and I know I will take heat from some but please hear me out. I am not some crazy pageant mom and I do have my reasons for feeling this way. There was a ruthless bully in my 6th grade homeroom. One day, he made me his target and said horrible things about my eyebrows and some other facial hair I was rocking. I went home in tears and begged my mother to help me handle it. She took me to the drugstore and explained to me the different ways to get rid of unwanted facial hair. She was very matter-of-fact about it- she told me that it was just something women and girls of my background had to deal with and that it was my choice whether I wanted to remove this hair. She didn’t say much about the bully and I remember her focusing on the positive parts of my appearance while also coaching me on how to safely get rid of the hair. I came away with my self-esteem intact and feeling so much better. If something like this were to happen with my daughter at any point from here forward, I would, without question, help her out.
And please let me be clear- I would never sit my child down and tell her I was going to pluck her eyebrows. I would never point out anything about her appearance and suggest that we fix it. The ball is in her court and I would only do this if she came to me and we had a proper discussion about the reason she wants to do it and the fact that it’s just something she will add to her get-ready routine as she gets older- like putting on deodorant or brushing her teeth. I am not going to re-shape her entire eyebrow or wax anything. All I would be willing to do is remove the few hairs in the very middle and call it a day. If she asks me as she gets older to help her shape them more I will help her.
As parents, it is part of our responsibility to raise our children to be confident and happy with themselves. If plucking a few hairs made my daughter feel less self-conscious I would do it in a heartbeat and all the while make sure she understands that she is beautiful no matter what. Like all things with parenting, this is just another decision to be made and all of these decisions are made with my child’s best interest at heart. Hopefully, it is the right choice and one day, my daughter will look back and say that she had a supportive mother who listened to her concerns and took her seriously. I know that’s how I feel.