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Health & Body
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 Topics:

Advice Questions about Health & Body:

  • GOI 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?

  • GOI 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?

  • GOI 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?

  • GOI 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!!

  • GOOkay, 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!!!

  • GOI 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!

  • GOOkay, 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!

  • GOI 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?

  • GOI 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.

  • GOI 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.

  • GOI am 10 years old and I am not even going through puberty! Am I too old...too young? HELP ME!

  • GOI 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.

  • GOIm 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?

  • GOI 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!

  • GOI 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?

  • GOI want to talk about periods with my math teacher. What should I say? Or should I ask one of the female gym teachers?

  • GOI'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?

  • GO"I'm only 10 and dealing with acne. Sometimes people just stare. What should I do?"

  • GO"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."

  • GO"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?"

  • GO"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?"


Dear IML,
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?
--Anonymous, 11

The IML Mentors respond:

Hey Anonymous,
Everyone has this problem going through their head. I personally had this problem because my Grandma is SO embarrassing when it comes to puberty. She says the most embarrassing things when guys are around. At first, I started out with wearing sports bras, because the straps feel like a tank top or cami when people hug you. Then, when everyone figured I would be wearing them by now, I switched to the regulars my mom had bought me. You might also try just wearing one, and not worry about what your relatives and parents think. They will probably just think that you are growing up, and are starting to need things like a bra. Hope I helped! :)
--Alison, IML Mentor

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Dear IML,
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!! --Anonymous, 11

The IML Mentors respond:

Hey Anonymous!
My friend has vitiligo, and she is also very self-conscious about it. People would make fun of her and call her "The Blotchy Girl" and it got so bad, I would have my feelings hurt when someone would make fun of her. She decided to cover it up with makeup when she wears short sleeves and shorts in the summer, and she is very happy with the way she looks. If you want, you can go with that option, or if you would rather do something else, realize that you are beautiful no matter what you look like. When people ask, you might want to remind them that it's a condition that does not affect your personality. Also, remember that some people don't realize that they are hurting your feelings by asking, so let them know that it bothers you. I hope my tips helped you, and I wish you the best of luck!
--Alison, IML Mentor

Dear Anonymous,
My mom has vitiligo; she has it all over her hands and has some spots on her forearms. I would suggest you deal with it the same way she does: with confidence and lots of information! That way, when somebody asks you what the spots on your skin are, you can tell them -- and give them further information if you think they need it, like how it's not contagious and other such things. Above all, try to have confidence, because it's a condition that affects quite a few people, so you're not alone. I hope you feel better about your condition soon! It's just part of what makes you unique.
--Sarah, IML Mentor

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Dear IML,
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!!!
--Annabelle, 12

The IML Mentors respond:

Dear Annabelle,
Every girl goes though puberty at one point or another so take comfort in knowing that half the population in the world is dealing with such things as pubic hair, breasts, and all those pesky hormones. However, I know from when I was going through puberty that it feels like it is happening to you and only you. I know it may be tough to talk to your parents about what you are feeling, but just remember that they went through the same things as you. Your mom will most likely know where you are coming from and can tell you all about shaving, waxing, trimming and those miracle products that remove hair. However, if you do not feel comfortable talking to her, you could talk to your school counselor, nurse, or doctor; they are trained for this sort of thing so although it may be embarrassing to bring up, it’s nothing new to them. Also, if that is still too much then maybe you could wear little bike shorts under your clothes so that when you change you can still be covered. My school uniform skirt at my school is a little short and I have never felt comfortable getting down to my skimpies in the locker room, so I wear bike shorts all the time at school under my clothes. A lot of my friends do the same. Just remember that this is a natural process that everyone goes through and that you will get through it. Hope it all works out!
--Joy, IML Mentor

Hey Annabelle,
I know just how embarrassing pubic hair can be! I'm on my school's swim team, so I'm constantly worried that it shows at the edges of my uniform. Just like with the hair on any other part of your body, you can shave, wax, or trim pubic hair. Although I shave it off, I wouldn't recommend it to start with, since it can get really itchy as it starts to grow back. If you need to talk to your parents about it, to get them to buy you a razor or waxing strips, it's probably best to mention it casually in a relaxed setting. Don't forget that your parents were kids once too, and they know what you're going through -- especially your mom -- and neither of them should be bothered by it.
--Sarah, IML Mentor

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