June 29, 2016 I’M DEVELOPING TOO EARLY!!! Today’s letter comes from Kacey, who writes… Nikki, I really need your help!!! I am 11 years old, and I already need a bra (which always itches). Barely anyone else even wears a bra. I also have hair under my armpits and on my legs. I’m pretty sure my period is coming soon. Everybody always teases me. I just don’t know what to do!! It took lot of courage to send this letter, so please reply! Kacey’s Crazy Crisis Hi Kacey! I can understand how uncomfortable it might have been to send this email, but I’m really glad you did!! Because here’s the thing: we’ve all been there. Some girls feel self-conscious because we feel like we’re developing behind everyone else. Those girls might look at you and feel jealous, while you’re wishing you were still flat-chested. I doubt there’s anyone who’s like, Awesome! My body is changing and it’s super cool! Some parts of puberty are just a hassle. I mean, who wants to shave their pits and legs? It’s a TOTAL pain. (Though here’s a hint: You don’t actually have to. Some people don’t. There’s no medical reason to do it. It’s just that our society decided women should have smooth legs and pits. For like, no reason at all. ) And periods…yeah, they’re not awesome. I’m not going to lie. They can be inconvenient and they might make you feel crummy for a few days each month. But talk to your mom, or if you don’t live with your mom, talk to another adult woman you trust. She’ll have years of wisdom to hook you up with the things that help her feel better during her period. Because periods are another thing all women go through. (But also, your period usually starts around two years after your body starts to develop, so you might not need to worry about that just yet. I learned that in this helpful article about what happens when girls go through puberty, which you might want to check out: What a Girls Needs to Know About Growing Up. But look, while everything that’s happening to your body is normal, and everything you’re feeling about it is understandable, what’s NOT COOL is other kids teasing you about your body! That’s not only UNCOOL, it’s wrong. It’s actually harassment. Nobody wants to be a tattletale, but in this case, you need to speak up. Your learning experience is being harmed if you’re distracted by jerks and inappropriate commentary on YOUR body. So this is a situation that you need to discuss with an adult you trust at school. Your school probably has a harassment policy or an anti-bullying policy that’s meant to help you in situations like this. If the first person you talk to doesn’t take you seriously, talk to someone else. Because that’s the thing to remember – it’s YOUR body. Other people should NOT be expressing opinions about it. You’re already uncomfortable with the things that have to happen no matter what – like the changes in your body – but you don’t need other people making it worse with stupid, immature comments and actions. So, some of it you have to put up with (the actual physical changes) but some of it you ought to stand up AGAINST (other people’s input). And no matter what, through it all, remember that it’s YOUR body and it’s AWESOME, and always let your inner dork shine through!