Hey, my Tribelet of precious Mini-Women! At last, a REAL POST. Let’s get right to it shall we?
When I read your comments (and remember that when you get a reply from MELLE, that’s really me) I was happy to see that most of you are kind of excited about becoming young women. Still, I wasn’t surprised that there are some niggling doubts about the whole thing — and the biggest one seems to be: Am I normal?
I can answer that in one word: YES! But since you’re going to want more information than that to be convinced, here you go. These are the stages of breast development that everybody goes through — each at your own speed:
STAGE 1: Pre-puberty — No breasts yet, but you’ll get them when your body’s ready. You’re not “behind”. You’re simply you.
STAGE 2: Breast buds — These quarter-sized bumps are the very beginning of your future breasts. Don’t worry if they aren’t exactly the same size or they stay this way for a year or they blossom into the next stage after a few months. It’s all good.
STAGE 3: Developing breasts — The shape of your breasts in this stage is a lot like they’ll be when you’re an adult, only smaller.
No worries. Enjoy wearing the cutest, most comfortable bra you can find (more on that in Monday’s post)
STAGE 4: Nipple and areola (the darker part) mound — This is an interesting stage because your breasts may stay the way they are in shape and just grow larger, or they might move on to the next stage. Keep remembering: everybody is different.
STAGE 5: Adult breasts. Even though you won’t be an adult yet when you hit this stage, your breasts will have fully developed. They might continue to grow in size, but their shape is a sign of your womanly self — which is fabulous.
You don’t have to share which stage you’re in, since that’s a personal matter. What we would love to hear is that you’re relieved to know you’re right where you should be (because there IS no “should”) and that you’re looking forward to the shape you’re going to take.
Because here’s the deal, Mini-Women: God loves creating every one of us to be unique. It was never God’s idea for everybody to be the same, and especially for every woman to have a body identical to what some (clueless) person somewhere decided was the “perfect shape.” THERE IS NO PERFECT SHAPE! Wait, yes there is — and it’s YOURS!
I bet, though, that even after I’ve said that you might still be thinking, “Yes, but …”
What you’re probably concerned about are the Breast Surprises. Things like this:
*When your breasts hurt. Yeah, the whole growing thing can make them itchy or tender or even painful. That’s normal, and it will go away. Heat helps.
* A weird bumpy thing under your nipple. Don’t panic — it’s not a tumor! It’s just part of the blooming process.
* Nipples that go in instead of out. Not to worry. Some girls have innies and some have outies. The nipples will appear if in the future you need them to feed babies.
* Springing a leak. A little occasional fluid out of your breasts isn’t unusual. The hormones are just doing their thing. Don’t squeeze, though; that just makes them drippier.
That’s a lot of info — I’m thinking plenty for now. The one thing I hope you’ll take away from this is that you’re normal and beautiful and perfect. NO MATTER WHAT ANYBODY SAYS. To make sure that sinks in, why don’t you try these 3 things?
(1) If you see an ad or a picture or some chick’s “perfect” body (like, she resembles a Barbie doll) look away. Don’t dwell on it. Say to yourself, “I am beautifully and awesomely made.” DO it.
(2) Stand straight and tall and don’t cave in your chest. I’m not saying flaunt yourself! I AM saying, there is no shame or embarrassment in developing into a young woman. If boys or other girls or adults who should know better make comments about the way your breasts are coming along, don’t defend or cry or respond in anger (no pinching anybody’s head off). Just feel sorry for them. They clearly don’t know what you know, which is that the human body is a beautiful, God-made thing. Period. DO it.
(3) Get out your Talking To God Journal. Write about the way you’re feeling when it comes to taking shape into the lady you’re going to be. Even if you’re still stuck on “I wish I looked different!” take that to God. Chances are by the time you’re done, you’re going to start coming around. A good talk with our Father always changes things in our minds and hearts.
If you want to comment this time, tell us where you are on the My Body Image scale:
1 I still wish I was shaping up differently
2 I’m starting to get used to this new body
3 I actually like my new physical self — even if I don’t look like a Barbie doll
4 I’m fabulous the way God has me at this very moment!
Just so you know, I pray for you every time I finish a post. I LONG for every one of you to grow up completely comfortable in your own God-made skin. I YEARN for you to be able to snort at the “perfect image” that gets portrayed everywhere. I WANT you embrace being a young woman without ANY self-hatred. If you need help with that, just say so in your comment and I’ll be there for you.