During the years that you go through puberty, changes in your body are normal. And that means sometimes waking up and spotting something in the mirror that you’re not so sure about. Ehh, is that supposed to look/smell/feel like that?
Thanks to social media there’s a TON of pressure for you and your body to look a certain way, but there’s no such thing as perfect.
Those things that you might see on yourself as weird or gross or wrong (and maybe too personal to ask a friend about) are actually completely normal, and you have nothing to worry about.
From wonky boobs to hairy bits and everything in between, here’s a few things that you probably thought were weird about your body, that actually aren’t weird in the slightest. We’ve all got ‘em.
Different sized boobs
For a lot of girls, puberty changes will include your boobs growing a cup size or two (or ten). A bit of healthy groping and ogling yourself in the mirror might lead you to notice that your boobs are different sizes to one another, but it’s really not something to panic about.
The majority of women have one boob bigger than the other, they’re almost ALWAYS different and sometimes it can be a pretty substantial difference. It’s thought that NO woman on the planet has completely identical boobs.
You really don’t need to stress about that – and you’ll probably find that by the end of puberty, things have levelled out a little bit anyway.
The way your labia looks
It’s super important to familiarise yourself with your sassy new shape, and that includes getting to know the way things look y’know… down there. Unfortunately, the way society dishes out strict instructions for the way girls ‘should’ look means that a huge percentage of gals worry that things aren’t quite right in the vagina department.
Hey, it kind of makes sense that you might be worried about the way things are looking – it’s not exactly a body part that you compare with your best mates. But let’s just get this cleared up. There is NO certain way that your labia minor and majora (the inner and outer lips of your vagina) should look. They come in ALL shapes, sizes, lengths and colours, and they’re all perfectly normal.
Plus, in the same way that it’s totally normal to have different-sized boobs, it’s the same with your labia. The only time you ever need to flag it is if it’s feeling irritated or painful down there.
A bit of B.O.
One of the less cute parts of puberty is the fact that err… well, it can make you a bit smelly sometimes. Androgens, the hormones that cause acne, are also responsible for body odour, so if you’re starting to see some typical changes going on then you can expect your smell to change, too.
It’s COMPLETELY normal to sweat and smell (the human body just needs to do it), and you can tackle any body odour by showering daily and following up with some deodorant. You could even chuck one in your bag to reapply throughout the day at school if you find that one spritz isn’t quite enough.
Puberty changes can cause a hella hairy experience. You might start growing the stuff on your legs, under your arms, on your top lip, around your pubic area… Basically you name a body part and it’s normal to grow hair there.
But if you decide to remove any of it by plucking/shaving/waxing, you’re probably also gonna have to tackle the never-ending curse of ingrown hairs. Spotted some little red bumps popping up? That’ll be where the hairs have grown back and curled round underneath the skin, causing irritation rather than growing through the pore.
Don’t stress about them – almost everyone will have to tackle ingrown hairs and they’re super common. You can minimise the appearance however by using a sharp, clean razor, or going for professional waxes. Try to leave them alone to disappear by themselves, or exfoliate and apply tea tree to reduce any irritation.
HAIR AGAIN – this time on your lovely face. Tons of girls will find that more facial hair starts to appear through puberty, and the darker your natural hair colour, the more easily you might be able to spot it. It could appear as sideburns near your ears, along your chin or maybe as a kind of moustache.
Nothing to worry about obvs, and it’s totally up to you whether you want to do anything about removing it, but if it’s something that makes you feel self conscious, there’s loads of options. Waxing, threading or plucking are your best bet.
But as a quick side note, if the hair seems to be particularly thick, coarse or densely growing, mention it to your doctor to make sure there are no hormone imbalances.
We did warn you earlier that hair can sprout pretty much anywhere as you start growing up and yup, that includes your nips. Females are conditioned to see body hair as a bad thing that needs to stop ASAP, it really couldn’t be more normal. Some girls will have more than others, but getting a few hairs around your nipples is actually pretty common.
It’s best to avoid shaving the area because the skin is super delicate and easily nicked. Very carefully trimming or tweezing is probably your best bet.
While it’s completely normal to spot a bit of hair appearing on your boobs, it might be worth chatting to your doctor if it’s any more than that – it’s sometimes a sign of a hormone imbalance that might need some more attention.
Urgh, agh and double ergh. Why body, WHY? As if a spot or two on the face wasn’t enough to contend with, it’s also unfortunately as normal as it gets to be blessed with bacne, chest-ne, neck-ne… Anywhere that you have sebaceous glands, you can get spots, and luckily for all of us, humans have sebaceous glands everywhere but the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. OH GOOD.
Aside from your face, your back and your chest are actually the most common places for spots to pop up because the pores are bigger and deeper. So definitely don’t feel like a weirdo if you’re finding that the bacne struggle is real – just head over HERE (link) and check out all of the golden advice we’ve got to offer about tackling it.
Spotted some white-ish, clear-ish discharge sitting in your knickers at the end of the day? Don’t freak out and don’t stuff all your undies at the bottom of the bin in horror. Again, TOTALLY normal, and just a sign of increasing oestrogen levels in your body.
It’ll normally start appearing about six to twelve months before your first period, and will probably keep showing itself after that. The amount of discharge and the way it looks will change depending on the point in your menstrual cycle.
The only time you need to take any notice of it is if you notice that it’s turned more of a greenish colour, picked up a bad smell, or comes with any itching, pain or rashes. You’ll need to tell your doctor about any of these signs.
See? Nothing to worry about. We’re all in this weird, slightly gross, super awkward stuff together.
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