Chances are, your body's going through major changes these days. If you're not sure what's going on, or have specific questions about your health, our advice team is here to help.
Advice Questions about Health & Body:
- I know this sounds weird, but I don't want to grow up. BO, bras, body hair, periods, they are all bugging me so much. I hate to admit I actually need deodorant, bras are a pain, and I have to carry supplies with me all the time because I have no idea when I'm going to get my next period. Why is everyone so eager about developing?
- I wear a sports bra, the kind with no 'spaghetti straps'. I feel that I need more bras, and maybe a few more 'womanly' bras. I don't want to talk to my mom about it, but it doesn't seem that she's going to buy me any more anytime soon. What should I do?
- I always want to wear my bra, but I get worried about what my parents or relatives will think when they feel my strap when they hug me. What should I do?
- I have a major self-conscious problem (darn you, puberty!), and here's one reason why I'm so self-conscious: I have vitiligo. That's a skin condition; it's basically when your skin loses its pigment (color). I have it all over my elbows, knuckles, forearms, knees, and ankles. It's kind of embarrassing, and that's why I don't like to wear short sleeves or skirts or shorts in public. People keep asking me: ‘What's up with the stuff on your arm?’ or ‘What's the white stuff?’ It's hard to not be bothered by these questions and to just be proud of who I am and that my condition isn't worse than it could be. What can I do to be able to say the next time someone asks me a question: ‘It's called vitiligo, and I'm proud of it!’? Help!!
- Okay, I'm REALLY uncomfortable about talking about this. But I need your help. I'm 12, and I'm hitting puberty. But the thing is, I've had pubic hair since I was 11. I am a little nervous about going to gym class because I have to change my shorts and everything, and sometimes the hair is, well, noticeable. I want to find a way to get rid of it, and I'm pretty sure there's a few ways to make that happen. But here's the problem: How do I confront my parents about this? I mean, I'm having a hard time writing about this, so how can I TALK about it? HELP!!!
- I would really like a bra but my mom said I don't need one. I'm 10 and all my friends have them. Please help me!
- Okay, I've hit puberty, had "The Talk" and everything, but there is still one problem. I'm now confronting my first case of BO. Yeah, I know I'm ready to start using deodorant, but I can't figure out how to consult my dad about it without the situation being too awkward! I've been trying to think of something for months! Please help me! I get embarrassed about these things easily, even though everybody goes through it and all that. I need a good approach!
- I really wanna ask my mom when she started her period, so I know when to estimate that I will start mine. I don't know how to start the conversation, and I want it to be when we are alone together...which is never. Any tips?
- I just smoked a cigarette for the first time tonight. I am so disappointed in myself! I need to know whether I should tell my mom or not. I mean I know I'll never do it again. It was disgusting! But what happens if I get really sick or start having problems b/c my body craves the cigarettes? I really need help.
- I am very self-conscious about my body. After 5 open-heart surgeries, I have a scar down the middle of my chest, and I hate to show it. There are so many cute low-cut tops that my friends wear that I can't. Swimsuit season is coming up and it's really hard for me to be comfortable in mine, because I know people are looking if it shows. I keep telling myself that I will never be able to wear a bikini. Or what if I find a guy that I like, we go out, then he sees the scar, and gets grossed out? Please, I would like some help, and please don't tell me to be proud and show it off, cuz it doesn't work, trust me, I've tried many times to tell that to myself and when I do, people laugh and make fun of me.
- I am 10 years old and I am not even going through puberty! Am I too old...too young? HELP ME!
- I am ten years old and I'm going through puberty. My problem is that I don't have my period yet, but all my friends have theirs. Am I too young? Help me.
- Im not sure whether I should pierce my ears or not. On one hand I get to wear cute earrings that I really want to wear. On the other hand, I am
afraid that it would hurt. I am also afraid that if I get my ears pierced,
the person would pierce my ears badly (not the part where the piercing
should be), I might get an ear infection, or I might get an allergic
reaction to the earring (my mom is allergic to it). Will you tell me what
you would do if you were me?
- I have a real problem when it comes to my body! First of all, I have a pretty big bust for my age. But this is the worst problem: I had my period. I am really embarrassed when I can't go swimming with my friends or go to pool parties when I get it. Please help me! It's hard to cope with it!
- I have a big fear that my first period will come at a real bad time. I don't want to go say to a teacher, 'IT happened,' and I don't want it to happen in the shower. Are these fears okay? What can I do to prevent those kinds of things from happening?
- I want to talk about periods with my math teacher. What should I say? Or should I ask one of the female gym teachers?
- I'm the thinnest and most petite girl in my class. My clothes are size 10 in kids and my shoes are size 3 in girls. I also weigh only about 70 pounds, which is underweight for my age by 10 pounds! I can't shop at the stores a lot of girls my age shop at. I feel so small! Why aren't I growing like the others?
- "I'm only 10 and dealing with acne. Sometimes people just stare. What should I do?"
- "I just got my period. I get really frustrated and I don't want to be. Plus, I don't know how to tell my mom! Help."
- "I am always having trouble sleeping. I don't fall asleep 'till 1 or 2 in the morning, then I have to wake up to get ready for school at 6. My mom won't let me take anything to help me sleep. What can I do to sleep better?"
- "My grandma smokes and my family comes by a lot to visit. When we come over, she's always smoking. I always go to another room where I can't smell the smoke. I'm worried about my baby brother or someone else getting sick from secondhand smoke. What should I do?"
I would really like a bra but my mom said I don't need one. I'm 10 and all my friends have them. Please help me!
It sounds like you're really frustrated with your mom for not wanting to get a bra for you, and maybe even with your body for not having the breast size you want. If the reason for your wanting to get a bra is because all your friends have one, then maybe you should consider your mom's point and wait until you need one. Even if you do not need a bra at this point in your life, you will eventually need one. Although it may seem hard, try not to worry about your friends wearing bras...eventually, you'll need one too. However, if you feel like you do need a bra and your mom just doesn't want to accept that fact or realize that you do, then try talking to her. When you talk to her, keep calm and collected so that you seem mature and responsible. Your mom will probably listen to what you are saying more if you speak to her that way instead of yelling and just fighting. Hope it all works out and good luck!
--Joy, IML Mentor
It's hard to see or feel like you're not growing up as quickly as your friends are, but the important thing to remember is everyone's body take a different speed to get to adulthood. While I totally get that you might want to fit in, or just start to get used to bras since all of your friends are starting to wear them, this is one of those areas where moms have experience, so I wouldn't blame your mom for giving you her opinion. Even if you don't need a bra right now, chances are you might need one soon. If it's really that important to you (and honestly, I didn't have a real bra until long after my friends did, and while it sorta feels weird to see your friends with them, I got over it pretty quickly) then I would suggest explaining it to your mom. Maybe be honest with her and let her know that a training bra, whether you need it right now or not, will be helpful in getting ready for the right time, and will make you feel better about yourself. Give it a try, and if it doesn't work remember that puberty isn't a race...and in the end you'll be just as grown up as your friends whether it takes you a bit longer to get there or not.
--Stormie, IML Mentor
Puberty is usually a hard thing for parents to go through. They feel sad when their little kids are growing up. However, most parents know if and when their child needs a bra, and I think you should consider waiting until she thinks you're ready. Ask yourself if you really, truly need one -- because you are uncomfortable or need support -- or just want one because of your friends. One option is to ask your mom for a sports bra. They help you get used to the feeling of wearing a bra and give some support and protection. Even though sports bras aren't "real" bras, you'll still feel like you have one and can say so!
I wish you the best of luck! :)
--Alison, IML Mentor
Okay, I've hit puberty, had "The Talk" and everything, but there is still one problem. I'm now confronting my first case of BO. Yeah, I know I'm ready to start using deodorant, but I can't figure out how to consult my dad about it without the situation being too awkward! I've been trying to think of something for months! Please help me! I get embarrassed about these things easily, even though everybody goes through it and all that. I need a good approach!
Having your first case of BO can seem really traumatic, but it is really normal and everybody goes through it as you said. I know that it may seem awkward to talk to your dad about it, but he once had to go through it and will probably be able to relate to your situation more than you might think. My parents are divorced, and I was with my dad one week when I got my period for the first time. I was so embarrassed to ask my dad to take me shopping for feminine products since a) getting your period for the first time is scary b) he is a guy and c) he is my dad. However, I just took the plunge and told him and guess what? It really was not at all bad. All the anxiety I had over telling him was just in my head, as it probably is for you. If you do still do not feel comfortable talking to your dad, maybe a friend could go with you to talk to him or go to the store with you to buy some deodorant yourself. Hope everything goes well!
--Joy, IML Mentor
This is something that everything goes through; it's totally a part of growing up. In fact, I'm sure your dad went through the same thing. If you're nervous about it, I would just tag along one day to the grocery store or pharmacy or something, and then just pick up the brand you want and say, "Hey Dad, can I get this? I feel like I need it." That way it's not like you have to have a serious talk about it if you don't want to, but you still get the products you need now. Good luck!
--Stormie, IML Mentor
I really wanna ask my mom when she started her period, so I know when to estimate that I will start mine. I don't know how to start the conversation, and I want it to be when we are alone together...which is never. Any tips?
It sounds like you're having some communication difficulties with your mom, especially trying to talk to her privately about getting your period. I know that it may seem awkward to talk to your mom about this kind of thing, but she went through it when she was young and can probably relate to you more than you may think. Talking to her privately may make the situation seem a little less awkward for you and make you and your mom feel more comfortable. From what you said, it seems as though being alone with her almost never happens. You might want to consider asking her to talk to you privately and if she's busy, then ask her when it would work out for her. You could even leave her a note somewhere asking her to meet you alone in your room when she has a chance. I hope everything works out!
--Joy, IML Mentor
It's smart of you to plan ahead for things like this, and it shows that you're taking a really mature approach to growing up. I would ask your mom if you could have a girls' day to just catch up one-on-one with each other. Go see a movie, go to the beach, the mall, lunch...whatever it is, just go out and have fun. That way, when you're talking, you can just sort of bring it up. Maybe you can start with something like, "Mom, there's something I was wondering because I'm learning about puberty right now...", so that even though you're nervous, you'll still be honest with her. Honestly, your mom is the best person to talk to about puberty, because being your mom her body probably works a lot like yours. Good luck, and remember that it's really a part of life that everyone goes through, and your mom was probably just as nervous as you are now when she was young. At the very least, you may feel closer to her and more comfortable to ask more questions as you continue to grow.
--Stormie, IML Mentor
E-mail this page to a friend