Hair removal for the preteen set

Because you're never too young to Nair.

By Catherine Price
Published September 15, 2007 4:00AM (UTC)
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Here's a new ad campaign that'll make your hair stand on end ... if you have any. According to the New York Times, Nair -- you know, the foul-smelling depilatory cream -- has launched a new product, Nair Pretty, aimed toward 10- to 15-year-olds. Or, if you're speaking in industry parlance, "first-time hair removers."

Does this creep anyone else out? I mean, when I was a young teenager I used to shave my poor legs several times a day, unaware of the irony that making them look like a child made me feel more like a woman -- so it's not like I'm unfamiliar with the concept of precocious hair removal. But I like to think that my attempts were self-driven -- and not the brainchild of marketing executives who say things like, "When a girl removes hair for the first time, it's a life-changing moment." (Not kidding -- that's from a marketing vice president at Nair's parent company.) As Gawker gleefully warns, "we're probably months away from Baby Brazilians."


Nair Pretty comes in kiwi and peach scents (when dealing with preteens, apparently one must be as fruity as possible) and is being marketed with slogans that suggest, as the New York Times puts it, that "the depilatory is a stubble-free path to empowerment." For example: "I am a citizen of the world. I am a dreamer. I am fresh. I am so not going to have stubs sticking out of my legs." (The ad team also considered including the line, "I am way into non sequiturs," but decided that given the context, it would make too much sense.)

What's more, it's even being marketed toward moms. According to the Times, Redbook is running an ad that says, "Introducing our first hair remover made for your daughter's skin, skin that's prone to cuts and nicks." To which I say, if your daughter's too young to handle a razor, she's also too young to be using chemical creams to dissolve her probably nonexistent leg hair. And besides, a girl's gotta grow up sometime, right? Give her a razor and some band-aids and let her figure it out for herself.

Catherine Price

Catherine Price is an award-winning journalist and author of Vitamania: How Vitamins Revolutionized the Way We Think About Food. Her written and multimedia work has appeared in publications including The Best American Science Writing, The New York Times, Popular Science, O: The Oprah Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post Magazine, Salon, Slate, Men’s Journal, Mother Jones, PARADE, Health Magazine, and Outside. Price lives in Philadelphia.

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