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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 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?
--Fern, 13

The IML Mentors respond:

Hi Fern,
I think most people are eager to develop because they want to experience something new, and they love the feeling of growing up. I don't blame you for wanting to stay the way you are, but unfortunately, we have to put up with it. I do agree that it can get annoying to carry a bunch of stuff with you, and that periods, bras, B.O., and pubic hair can be a pain, but it's all a part of life. There are many obstacles ahead of us, but we have to go around them and look at the brighter side. Why not make growing up less painful? Next time you go grocery shopping, go to the deodorant aisle and pick out your favorite scent. Instead of carrying a bunch of supplies with you in preparation for your period, I suggest you keep one or two maxipads in your locker. If body hair is a problem, talk with your parents if it's okay that you shave. Hope I helped!
--Angelie, IML Mentor

Hey Fern!
Everyone is eager to develop for different reasons. My reason was wanting to be able to have fun: Adulthood looks fun when you're 12 or 13. But when you start getting closer to adulthood you start to realize how much you miss being a kid. It's okay to not want to grow up. It's actually quite normal to not want to grow up and be a kid forever. The sad reality, though, is that we all have to grow up sometime and that it is indeed scary. I'm 15 and now that I'll be going to college at 17 instead of 18 (I'm graduating a year early), I am scared but I'm also happy about it. I'm happy that I can make my own decisions but I'm scared that I'll make the wrong one and that's just a part of growing up. We make mistakes and we learn from them. And don't worry. I know how hard it is to have to use deodorant and how bras can be a pain and how periods are the worse. It's okay because you're friends are going through the same thing. You can all talk about it and you will realize that you're not the only one who doesn't want to grow up, but hopefully you'll also learn from them the positive things about it.
--CinKay, IML Mentor

Dear Fern,
I think that the reason everyone's so keen on developing is more because it's just another step in growing up and becoming independent than because they want to deal with having to carry supplies around (and every girl does it; you've no idea how embarrassing having to ask for those things can be) and dealing with bras. How you feel right now is totally fine and understandable. I didn't care much for growing up and developing either. You'll get used to it, and in time you may even come to enjoy the things that define you as a grown woman instead of a child; but if you never like it, that's fine too. Everybody's different! Good luck with getting older :)
--Sarah, IML Mentor


Dear IML,
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?
--Emily, 11

The IML Mentors respond:

Hey Emily!
It sounds like you're going to have to talk to your mom about it. It's not as awkward as you think it is. Since you've already started wearing bras you've already been bra shopping once with your mom. Just talk to your mom when you're alone with her. Just say, "Hey Mom, I have a question for you" and start the conversation from there. Tell her why you feel you need and want more 'womanly' bras. This is coming from a girl who was in your shoes at one point. Every girl has either been there or is going to be there. We all thought it was going to be awkward and to some of us it was awkward at one point. Just be the three C's; Calm. Cool, and Collective. That will make the conversation a little easier to handle. Good Luck!
--CinKay, IML Mentor

Dear Emily,
If it's impossible for you to get out on your own and buy a bra yourself, then I'm afraid you'll have no choice but to ask your mom for them. Don't make a big deal out of it, just say that you'd like a bit of an upgrade from a sports bra. Hopefully she'll understand and help you out! Otherwise, just wait another six months or so, then try again. If your mom feels that you're too young for an "official" bra, that's her decision; at age 11 you may not have developed enough to fill up a small standard-sized bra, and might not be physically necessary yet. Good luck!
--Sarah, IML Mentor

As much as you may not want to, I think that the best solution to your problem is to talk to your mother. Maybe just bring up that fact that your old bras are getting a little too small and you need something for a more mature girl such as yourself. If you carry the conversation as calmly or even a little bit jokingly comfortable you mom will understand what you're trying to say!
--Natalie, IML Mentor


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