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To Sam


Hi Sam, I am a thirteen year old girl and I have been getting a lot of armpit hair. I don’t want to shave but people have been making fun of me for it, they’re calling me the hobbit. I find this really difficult because when I ask them to stop they say that they’re just joking and I’ m just being over sensitive. I don’t know what to do. Thank you

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Many people see an increase in body hair as they go through puberty and it’s a normal part of growing up. As beauty standards change over time, there might be pressure for people to also change what they do, like shaving to fit in. However, you have a right to choose whether to shave or not and do what is best for you and your body.

Just under 100 years ago, adverts were first created to convince women to shave. Before this, it was common to see women with noticeable body hair. There can sometimes be pressure and an expectation for people to remove some body hair, but the reason people shave or not can be varied. 

Some people choose to remove their body hair for religious reasons, because they like how it looks or feels, or because they’re pressured into doing so. On the other hand, some people also choose not to shave for religious reasons, because it affects their skin, or because they’re comfortable with having hair on their bodies.

Some people argue that beauty standards are there only to encourage people to spend more money, but whatever someone chooses or chooses not to do, it should be their choice and not because they’ve been pressured into it,

When you feel pressured to do something you may not want to do, this is called peer pressure. Peer pressure is more obvious at certain times than at others.  When people are being called mean names, this is bullying and it’s always wrong. It’s not your fault and this is something you can talk to an adult about, like a teacher, parent or one of our counsellors.

Sometimes, when someone is being bullied through peer pressure, it can make them question their choices, but you have a right to be who you want to be and not feel forced or pressured.

When people say mean things or question someone’s choices it can affect their confidence, but there are things that can help you to build confidence and self-esteem. Learning assertiveness skills can also be a helpful way to help you stand up for yourself while still treating people with respect.

Learning any skill can take time and practice but it’s also something you can talk to other young people about.

Our message boards are a great place to do that. You can talk to other young people about the different peer pressures they’ve faced and how they’ve coped with them. You could even say that talking to others on the message boards and having that support is itself a coping mechanism.

Hope this helps.

Take care,


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