By GWBT Contributing Blogger Carly O.
Maybe you or someone you know has experienced this stage in your life… you know, the one you might be too ashamed to talk about with anyone? Still don’t know what I’m talking about huh. I’m talking about puberty. Six letters, one feeling: gross. I’m talking about the sore chest that becomes boobs, the backaches that send your height through the roof, the red bumps we call acne. That kind of puberty. It’s probably the most awkward part of your life physically, I can assure you. Everything is weird at this stage. According to Girls Health, puberty can start anywhere between eight and thirteen years old. That’s not too bad considering these are just a few years of your long and wonderful life.
But then maybe you look around to notice that you’re growing a bit faster than the other girls around you. Or maybe you notice that you’re not growing fast enough. Why you may ask? Well, puberty is all about hormones. You reach puberty when a hormone called gonadotrophin-releasing hormone or GnRH reaches your pituitary gland (that’s the part that looks like a little bean). Once this hormone connects, it releases another hormone called estrogen which is what causes the boobies and acne and everything else you’re going through as a young woman. You may have released more or less estrogen, and this affected the development of your body and those around you.
But more or less estrogen doesn’t make you, or anyone else, more or less of a young woman. Even boys have some level of estrogen! So, don’t sweat the hormones or their external appearances if you feel as though you don’t measure up. Some young women might feel as though they have too much going on during puberty. Those who mature earlier are negatively perceived as being delinquents, associating with older crowds, and having earlier sexual exploration. A lot of young women are misjudged on the inside based on what they look like on the outside.
If that’s you or someone you know then know this: they’re wrong. Your body doesn’t define you, only the inside-you can define you. What makes you laugh and smile? What books do you enjoy reading? It’s what’s on the inside that defines us. You’re not to be considered with whether you got “too much too soon” (or not enough), you need to only be focused on what really makes you who you are and prove others wrong.
(Caspi et al. 1993; Magnusson et al. 1985; Haynie 2003; Compian et al. 2004; Phinney et al. 1990)
Carly O. is a Girls Who Brunch Tour contributing blogger based out of Georgia. Her area of expertise falls underwriting, public speaking, and art. She is most passionate about topics related to women empowerment, ending poverty and hunger, environmental change, self-awareness, self-development, and mental health. Social media to her, allows you to be multiple places at once and connect with others whom you might not have had the opportunity to.