A Leg Up

A reader letter to advice columnist Dr. Tanya Byron was published in yesterday's Times of London. The question, from "Simone," reads, in part: "My six-year-old daughter has a problem that I fear may affect her social and psychological development, as well as her performance at school. She has developed a heavy growth of very dark hair on her legs, and she is very self-conscious about it… She has recently been invited to swimming parties, but makes excuses for why she shouldn't go. Are there any acceptable treatments for a child of this age?" Dr. Byron's response is over 1,000 words long and touches on heredity, femininity, feminism, the hair removal business and the dangers of learning to believe that the opinions of others about our bodies are less important than our own. Hair: A deeply rooted issue. [Times]