Every month or so I take my daughter somewhere so she can have a painful procedure inflicted on her.
She usually whinges and complains, and says she doesn't want to get it done. But then she calms down and after a few minutes it is over, until the next time.
Of course, I feel guilty. I'm only human. But I feel like I've got no choice. And at the end of the day, if my daughter said she didn't want to go back we wouldn't. But even she knows that a few minutes of pain is better than the cruel words of other children.
I am one of a growing numbers of mothers who take children as young as eight to have painful procedures such as waxing and lasering.
Before you think this is all about beauty, or society's perception of beauty, you are wrong. In my eyes, my daughter is beautiful, no matter what.
But from the time she began to develop hair between her already prominent eyebrows, I knew it was only a matter of time before I would have to act.
At first, I didn't know how to go about it. As much as I wanted to nip things in the bud before there was a problem, I didn't want to make her feel bad about herself or her appearance by bringing it up.
Instead, I thought it was better for her to start a dialogue with me.
Unfortunately, there ended up being numerous opportunities for that, starting with the time she came home from school and asked me what a "monobrow" was.
"Why?", I asked, already steeling myself for the answer. But she wouldn't talk about it and I didn't want to push her. As time went on, she started to confide in me that kids would make comments about her eyebrows.
One afternoon she came home from school in tears after a girl told her she needed to get her "monobrow" waxed because it was disgusting.
At first, I thought about reporting the incident to a teacher. But even if she spoke to that child, what about the next child, and the one after that?
And it wasn't just kids at school. After we had friends over one night, my daughter seemed upset but she wouldn't tell me what was wrong. My son told me later that he overheard one of our friends' children ask my daughter, whom she has grown up with, why she had a unibrow?
Then there was the friend of mine who asked when I was going to do something about my daughter's eyebrows. I resisted the urge to ask her when she was going to do something about her manners.
Each time something like this would happen, I would use it as an opportunity to gently explain to my daughter that lots of people have varying amounts of hair between their eyebrows and some people, including me, remove it.
I told her there were various ways to remove the hair if she ever wanted to, and even plucked a few hairs out when she asked me to.
But it wasn't until I found her in the bathroom with tweezers and one of my razors poised that I knew it was time for professional help and booked her in to see a trusted beautician.
According to her, it is not unusual for mothers to bring daughters as young as eight in for waxing and other procedures. She says she often fields inquiries from mothers of much younger children but eight years is her cut off for a range of reasons.
I know of at least a half a dozen other mums who have taken their primary school aged daughters, and sometimes younger, to have their eyebrows waxed.
And it is not unusual for girls who compete in dance, gymnastics or cheerleading events to start removing hair from their legs at a very young age. I have even heard of one dance school operator who told parents prior to a competition that hairy legs were "not a good look".
I am sure there are a lot of parents who think eight it too young to start putting a child through painful beauty procedures, and I probably would have agreed with you at one time.
But the pain inflicted by the words of other children is, in my opinion much worse, and lingers longer, than the sting of an eyebrow wax.
The author has chosen to remain anonymous to protect her daughter's privacy.