The other day, as a younger close family friend asked me, if it were normal for her to be getting hair on her face, I was suddenly transcending back to when I was her age and thought how weird it is, that nobody knows what’s ‘normal’ when we talk about puberty for girls.
I remember all of my sexual health lessons focusing predominately on the boys.
Boys start to grow hair everywhere
Boys will smell a bit
Boys’ voices will break
Boys, boy, boys!
But when it came to us girls, all we thought (as we got told), was that every month a nice river of red blood will leave our vagina and it will be an uncomfortable time and your hormones will be a bit haywire. And when I compared this to the amount of problems boys were going to be having (ooh morning wood- that was another one for the boys), I felt lucky that I only had one change going on in my body.
But oh wrong I was…
I remember waking up one day and being greeted by a hideous line of hair above my upper lip. I screamed and thought I was turning into a boy! I ran into my mum’s room and begged her to do anything to get rid of this, crying as I didn’t understand why I had facial hair- this was a boys problem not a girls! And she calmly went “Aww I’ll book you in for your first wax”– my first wax?!
Little did I know that at these salons that my mum had been going to for years, that it wasn’t just a pretty place where you got your nails done- it was a saving grace- where women daily would go to, to get rid of facial hair. As I sat there on a Saturday waiting my turn, I saw women come and go, all there for different hair reasons. Chin hair, upper lip, neck hair?! I couldn’t believe it- and I was relieved that I wasn’t an alien or turning into a boy. When my turn came, I was taken into the back room, with its scented candles and comforting atmosphere to finally have my upper lip hair removed. I couldn’t believe that all it took was some hot wax and some strips and my nightmare was over! I also had my slug eyebrows waxed too and I felt like a girl again. But because none of my friends seemed to be having this problem, I felt alone and weird. The only people I could ask were older than me.
Nowadays, I can talk to my friends about the ever occurring facial hair problems- especially chin hair- which we refer to as our witches hair. There just now and again seems to be a random hair appear on our chins!
You get hair all over your body, just like a man. Some woman have more than others due to their skin tone or how much testosterone is in their body, but we shouldn’t be afraid or ashamed to talk about it. I wish that during these sexual health lessons that they empathised that both genders get hair, not just boys go hairy, because thanks to those lessons (as well as petty boys taking the mick out of my arm hair), I have a hair phobia. I can’t have a single hair on my body apart from on my head. And if I have a daughter, I never want her to feel belittled or not as pretty because she very normally, has body hair.
Lets talk about our boobies now. They are a bundle of joy aren’t they not? Great to hold on to; terrible (for me anyway), to run with- but we have a love/hate relationship with them. We got told that we would get boobs, and I crossed my fingers and wished that I’d have DD’s and well done Gemma you’ve now got G’s and you complain about your back hurting every day! (Deep breath).
But what we don’t get told is about the other bits that go with our boobies. We can get stretch marks on our boobs, they are extremely sensitive when we are on our period and my nipples go so hard that they are noticeable through even the thickest jumper! They are not going to be these perfect round watermelons, they may be uneven and everyone’s areola is a different shape and that’s normal.
Again if you have any concerns talk with your friends, heck compare boobs! Get to know your breasts and embrace their jiggly ways.
When boys wake up they have morning wood, but as a teenager, I remember waking up and I thought I’d wet myself. My pyjama shorts were damp and I didn’t know why. It happened again a few nights after and I remember that I’d had a sex dream. But as a Christian I thought I was going to hell for thinking of these sinful things. But whereas its seen as normal for men to masturbate, having a hard on- even now- its not spoken about the fact that us woman have sexual fantasies too- so much so we may be a bit wet in the morning.
Men aren’t the only horny ones and us woman just go along with it. We have fantasies and dirty dreams and get a type of morning wood just like men.
Now this one is my favourite, purely because I was such a chubby bunny when I was 15. I’ve never been skinny, but I’ve always been healthy and one day looking in the mirror and seeing 10 chins and a stomach so large that I couldn’t see my toes, I looked like I’d eaten everything in sight!
I tried stupid fad diets, detoxes, was exercise crazy and nothing would get rid of this stomach. I then thought I was pregnant but then wasn’t really sure how sex worked then so I ruled that out. It was a nightmare! But my mum kept telling me that it was just puppy fat and it would go. And sure enough, over time, it did go, and by 18 I had flatter stomach and just the one chin. But even now; my weight fluctuates.
The other day I was getting ready and my partner was just looking me up and down, and I thought he was after something and was like “Do you like what you see?”, but he just went “You’ve lost weight” and that killed my sex drive. But I’m 23 now and my diet hasn’t changed, but my weight still fluctuates. I’ll have days where my jeans won’t fit and other days when they are a bit loose.
Ah the period, the only hormonal and bodily change I was expecting as a teenager, but the one that, even now as an adult I dread; the monthly.
I always know mines coming when I am craving chocolate. I’m not a big sweet person, I prefer savoury foods, so when this intense urge comes to eat chocolate and I’m rooting through the pantry like an animal trying to sniff some out- everyone knows to back away! I’m a bit more emotional when I’m on my period- one minute I’m easily angered, the next something’s hit a nerve and I’m crying over a Whiskers advert whilst eating chocolate spread out of a jar. It’s just a roller-coaster of emotions!
But this was the only thing that I was expecting when I was growing up. However, what they don’t tell you is about Tampons and all their myths. For years (slight exaggeration) months then, I thought that you could only use Tampons if you’d had sex. I then thought that the plastic casing they come in, after you’ve unwrapped them was just their to protect the Tampon, not that it was an applicator to ease the thing in. I only found out these things from talking with my girls and if I didn’t have my girls, with us battling the same battles- well I’d still be throwing away the applicator of my Tampon and walking funny!
I think we do need to have more awareness on the changes that go on with a woman’s body- both men and women. Because for me, what made it worse, was having boyfriends who didn’t get it or found me gross. I’ve plucked my chin hair in front of my partner many a time and he doesn’t think I’m less beautiful for it. It’s the same as him asking me to trim his ear hair (we have such a lovely relationship), but I don’t fancy him less because he’s got a bit of hair growing somewhere.
Hopefully these will be things that all women feel comfortable to discuss with both their friends and their partners and not be ashamed of it and do things in secret.
I hope you’re having a lovely weekend!
Cover Photo Source: http://hellyeahscarleteen.tumblr.stfi.re/?sf=bwvylkk