• I love my body
    I love that it can walk and run
    And feel the warmth of the sun on my skin
    I even kind of like the smell of my own farts
    But there was a time when I worried about my body
    It was changing, and I didn’t understand why
    Now that my body has finished changing, the changes make more sense to me
  • These are my breasts
    They started to grow on my chest when I was about ten years old
    At first they were pointy like birthday hats
    As I got older they became more round
    Many of my friends have breasts that look different from mine
    Some are big, some are small, some point up, some point down, some sit high, some hang low.
    But they are all unique and beautiful.
    In the center of my breasts are my nipples.
    There are brown nipples and tan nipples, nipples that point out and nipples that go in (like belly buttons!).
    If I give birth to children one day, my breasts will start producing milk,
    which I can use to feed my baby.
    However, some women are not able to have kids, and some do not want them.
    I have not decided yet whether or not I will try to have kids.
    When I first began developing breasts, people began to notice
    Some people were interested in them and found them attractive.
    This new attention I was getting made me feel sometimes embarrassed and other times pleased.
    But I know that my breasts are my own.
    They are just another wonderful part of me, like my smile, my strength, and my intelligence.
  • During the same time that my breasts were growing, I noticed that for the first time there was hair growing in my armpits.
    And there was a peculiar new smell coming from under my arms.
    I learned that this smell was my natural body odor. 
    My own personal smell that crawls out along my armpit hairs and into the air...
    When I exercise and sweat my body odor increases,
    And when I shave under my arms or shower, my body odor decreases. 
  • In addition to new hair under my arms, I started to get more hair on my arms and legs.
    When I shave my legs, the skin on my legs feels smooth at first
    But then my hair grows back darker in color, thicker, and prickly like a cactus.
    I have friends who shave and friends who don’t. 
  • I also started growing hair between my legs, in my groin area.
    At first this hair was soft and fuzzy like the skin of a peach,
    But then this hair—which is called pubic hair—became coarse, dark, curly, and thick like a forest.
    My pubic hair is there to protect my vagina.
  • On my face, chest, and back, I started to find little red bumps called pimples.
    Pimples are caused when the tiny holes on your skin called pores get filled with oil, dirt, or dead skin.  
    I found that washing my face, drinking lots of water, getting exercise, and avoiding sugary foods helped me get rid of some of my pimples.
    For a while I thought it was fun to pick at my pimples and pop them
    But the dirt and oil from my hands only gave me more pimples!
    Now I find that it is best for my skin if I avoid touching my face too much.
    Even though I learned lots of ways to reduce my pimples, I still got them throughout middle school and high school, as most teenagers do.
    Over time, they go away. No need to worry about them too much. 
  • Starting when I was about nine, I began to grow taller.
    My legs and arms grew really fast at first,
    Then my middle caught up.
    I gained weight around my hips, thighs, upper arms and back.
    I gained a lot of weight in my belly, too.
    I would compare myself to other girls, and that made me feel bad.
    But now I accept and love my body for what it is, and I’ve learned that I feel best and looks healthiest when I eat fruits and vegetables and spend time outside, moving. 
  • One day I found blood on my underwear.
    I freaked out, and ran to tell my mom.
    My Mom smiled and said, “Oh! You’ve become a woman”
    “Huh?”
    She explained to me that I had just gotten my first period...
    That my bleeding was normal – something that happened to all women.
    That from then on I would bleed from my vagina about every month,
    And that the bleeding would last for about five days.
    My mom told me that like chickens, women produce eggs.
    She said that blood is what takes the monthly egg out of my body, through my vagina.
    My eggs are much smaller than chicken eggs, so I do not see them.
    Sometimes right before I get my period my lower back hurts and I get headaches and pain in my lower belly.
    Sometimes I feel fuzzy or angry or emotional when I am about to get my period.
    When my body started changing, I had a lot of different feelings, and most of them were caused by new chemicals in my brain called hormones.
    Hormones can be very confusing.
    My mom said the cool thing about my period was that it means I will probably be able to have a baby one day, if I want. 
  • This is my story. This is not exactly what will happen to you.
    But your body will change, and my advice is to always love it and try to take care of it as best you can.