There’s been a lot of attention lately on the sexualization of children (remember Thylane Blondeau and lingerie for four-year-olds?), and now the beauty industry is under some scrutiny. We already know that a little girl can get a spray tan, but she can now apparently get a bikini wax at the age of 11. Yesterday Good Morning America (you can watch the segment on Jezebel) did a piece about beauty treatments for girls, and we were pretty surprised by the services salons (and parents) were willing to perform on kids as young as 11. We’re not talking about a pretty hairdo or a manicure here–although those are offered for one-year-olds! We’re talking about bikini waxes for girls who are barely pubertal.
The waxing seemed the most egregious to us, so we decided to poke around a bit to see if there really is a demand for waxing services for girls. We were pretty surprised by some of the things we discovered.
We sort of assumed that there would be age limits on waxing services for minors, and this is true to an extent. While New York has no official state or city regulations, it’s up to each salon to set its own standards. Strip Ministry of Waxing, which has many outposts in Asia and the UK, and opened up in NYC last year, won’t do a bikini wax on anyone under the age of 18, even if there’s parental consent. Ditto for Bliss Spas, who won’t even let you get your nails done unless you’re at least 12.
But there are plenty that will. We spoke to Eileen Cornell, the owner of MaxWax, a two-store chain in Manhattan. Her salons won’t wax anyone under the age of 18 without consent, although she admits that sometimes younger ones sneak in by lying about their age or trying to use an older sibling’s name. But if there’s parental consent, anything is possible.