Hi, my name is Aisha. I remember when I was little, I couldn’t wait to grow up. I remember always trying to hang out with my older sister and her friends. I would sometimes get upset when people told me I was too young. I didn’t feel too young - I felt I was a big girl!
I think I spoke too soon though because growing up isn’t as easy as it looks. It comes with this interesting phase in life called puberty. Puberty is when our bodies start to experience changes. For girls, this means getting bigger breasts and hips, hairy arms and legs. It’s also when our growth hormones kick in. It can start at any age between 8-15, but mine started earlier, which was a bit hard for me to deal with.
I noticed I was different when all the kids around me would comment on my body. They would say mean things like, “Your face looks like a jackfruit” or “Why are your boobs so big - are you pregnant?”
Being the first to hit puberty made me feel horrible. I didn’t like the things people were saying about me, so I opened up to my mum because I trusted her.
My mum was very comforting. She told me to ignore all the negative comments made towards me. She taught me that puberty is a very natural part of growing up for girls and boys and I shouldn’t feel ashamed for reaching it earlier than other people. Yes, it can be awkward but overall it’s a time of exciting and positive changes. No one has the right to tease you about your body.
Looking back at when it all happened, I realized that having a conversation with my mum was the best idea ever. Talking to her about the changes I was experiencing made me feel more confident and less ashamed. Since I reached puberty early I’ve also been able to guide other young people along their journey. Turns out there’s a positive side to every negative situation.
If you’re like me and reached puberty early, try not to keep your feelings to yourself. Try to find someone you trust, could be your neighbor, your teacher or your friend and talk to them about it. By opening up, this might help you feel better and enjoy your puberty. Remember, everyone goes through this - we don’t have to do this alone!