Hey, my awesome Tribelet of Mini-Women! I’m sorry I couldn’t be with you last week. I was in Colorado Springs taping a radio interview for Focus On the Family about bullying. It airs October 10, and I’ll be posting a link for you here.
Meanwhile you’ve been carrying on GREAT without me! You’ve all prayed for Kaylee and her family about her mom’s cancer, offering her some Bible verses to her to lean on. And you’ve given each other assistance with those emojis that are a mystery to people like me. You have truly become a community, and I’m proud of you.
Our group has a new member: Savannah! Ladies, let’s give her a huge Tween You and Me welcome.
So, it looks like we have the shaving issue under control. Most of you have healthy attitudes about it, and I think we can all agree that even though some of us like the look and feel of smooth legs and pits, hair itself isn’t this heinous (super ugly) thing that has to be gotten rid of the minute we see it. Whew! Glad that’s settled!
There’s still one thing about your changing bodies that we haven’t talked about and that, of course, is The Period. Most of you have said in your comments that you know about menstruation, whether it’s happen for you yet or not, and that your moms are okay with me talking about it here. If your mom isn’t, scroll down to the part in red print. Otherwise, read on, Mini-Women!
We’ll spend more than one post on this, so this week let’s focus on our attitude about this deal that’s going to happen every month until you’re 50 or 60. Trust me, that is a LONG time, so a healthy point of view about it will make your life SO much easier.
A few things I hear from girls — and some things that might help:
(1) It’s the thing that freaks you out most about growing up right now. It seems like such a big deal! Actually it IS a big deal. There’s the keeping-clean part of it and the aches and pains that sometimes come with it and the oh-my-gosh=I’m -really-becoming -a- woman part of it. If you weren’t at least a little bit concerned about it, I’d wonder if you were really paying attention! It’s okay to be nervous.
(2) Other girls are telling you horror stories about having blood on their clothes at the worst possible times or starting their first period when nobody was around but their brother or having cramps so bad that … Well, you get the idea. I’m not saying don’t trust your friends, but in this case it would be better to trust me. We’re going to cover all of that in the weeks to come. For now, just know this: if having a period every month was as terrible as some people make it out to be, why isn’t every woman walking around crying all the time? I mean, seriously …
(3) You’re embarrassed by the whole thing — to the point that you don’t even want to talk to your mom about it. It’s so, um, personal … And so normal! At first it seems like it would be totally mortifying to discuss it but when you think about it, every woman who has ever lived has experienced it, so why would something that concerns half the population be impossible to talk about? Okay, so you’re not going to go around bringing it up with everybody you run into. Hello? Absurd Little Creature boys? But moms want to help and so do other adult women who have been where you are. Nobody needs to enter this unknown territory alone.
For this week, just think about this, and post a comment if you want to:
When it comes to the whole period thing:
(a) I’m so freaked out I think I’ll skip this series here on TYAM
(b) I’m nervous about it but I want to learn more so I’m in
(c) I’m okay with it. I mean, it’s normal and I have to deal with it so, post on, Nancy Rue!
(d) I am completely jazzed about having periods. It feels so grown-up!
Before next Wednesday’s post, why not take out your Talking To God Journal and ask God any questions you have about periods (like why on EARTH He thought up such a thing!) and let him know what has you a little concerned (I can hardly remember to brush my teeth, much less deal with the whole pad thing …) If you get any answers or a sense of peace, will you tell us about it?
See you next week when we’ll talk about the GOOD news about periods. And yes, there IS some!
Hello, my Tribelet of beautiful Mini-Women! We have two new members this week, so please welcome ABBY (who is GRACE’S sister) and YEMZI. We’re glad you’re here, ladies. Please jump right in with comments, which as we all know are just responses to whatever you see in RED in a post. The “Rules” are simple: treat each other with respect. And you do it SO well.
We’ve been talking this summer about all the things that come with puberty — that season in your life where you’re slowly turning from girl-child to young woman. Our series wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t include a post about one of the most, shall we say, interesting parts of puberty ….
We’re talking not about the lovely stuff that grows on your head. We’re referring to the hair that is appearing everyplace else. What are you supposed to DO with that?
Some of it you do nothing with because nobody else sees it, right? It’s the hair that sprouts in your armpits and the hair that has gotten thicker on your legs that at some point you look at and go, “I don’t think I want that there.”
Fortunately we human girls aren’t covered in fur like the kitty in the picture above (yikes!) but most of us do have our share. Let’s start with where you are. Pick the choice in each row that is most like you:
Underarm hair: got none light & fuzzy dark and thick
Leg hair: almost none can barely see it super obvious
If most of your choices were on the left, you probably won’t want to add shaving to the new things you have to do to take care of your changing body.
If most of your choices were in the center, you might not be up for shaving your legs yet, but it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your underarms, especially if you sweat a lot. As we said last week, hair int he pits tends to hold perspiration where it can get a little smelly.
If most of your choices were on the right side, you may have been eyeing your dad’s razor for some time, or you’ve recently started feeling as woolly as the family pet. That means it’s the right time to approach your mom about shaving. Promise you won’t just do it on your own without some instruction. It’s trickier than it looks and, um, you WILL be handling a very sharp-edged instrument.
Having said that, let’s take a look at your current ‘tude about the whole body hair thing. Select the choice that sounds most like you.
a. What body hair?
b. It’s not a big deal
c. I want it off!
If you picked a., I wouldn’t think too much about shaving yet, at least your legs. If you haven’t even noticed that you’re starting to look like a Hobbit, that’s perfectly fine. There’s nothing immoral about having hair on your legs!
If you picked b., you’ve realized ya got some hair going on but you’re not too concerned about it. Shave or don’t. You’re not hurting anyone either way.
If you picked c., that doesn’t mean you’re vain. Some of us are hairier than others and some of us are more conscious of it than other girls. If it makes you feel yucky, then by all means tell your mom you’re ready for some razor instruction.
But what if you’re feeling ape-like and you ask your mom and she says no? She might give you one of several reasons, and if you can do it in a grown-up way, you might respond as follows (but no whining, eye-rolling or door-slamming allowed …)
* “Once you start, you’ll always have to do it.” What she means is that after you shave once, your hair will grow back in stiff little stubbles. To stay smooth, you’ll need to shave regularly. A possible response: “I know it’ll grow back stubbley but if I find out shaving is too much trouble, I can live with that. It won’t be any worse than the hair I have now.”
* “You’re too young.” What that probably means is that she’s having a hard time accepting that you’re growing up. A possible response: Say okay. Be super mature in the weeks to come. And then ask her again. If you take responsibility in other areas of your life, she’s more likely to give you the go-ahead to shave.
Does the Bible say anything about girls shaving? No, probably because it wasn’t a thing until women started wearing shorter skirts and sleeveless blouses. What God does, say, of course, is to honor your mother. If she says no, then it’s no. But again, accept that in a mature way and show her that you really are growing up and she’ll come around.
Meanwhile, try not to let other people’s comments (like those ALC boys who point at your legs and call you Gorilla Girl) bother you too much. Flash that beautiful smile. Change the subject to something that’s actually worth talking about. Be your most awesome self. Because, seriously, you’re you whether your legs are silky smooth or not.
This is definitely worth talking to God about, so get out that Journal and ask him anything you want about the Hairy Situation. Do you need help talking to your mom? Dealing with brothers who won’t leave you alone about your underarm fuzzy-ness? Ignoring girls who tell you you’re disgusting because you don’t shave daily?
If you want to comment on this week’s post, tell us which of these choices sounds most like you: WHY I WANT TO SHAVE:
(1) I don’t!
(2) Some of my friends do it.
(3) I feel like an ape!
This is a place where you can be honest and not worry that anybody’s going to think you’re uncool. It’s definitely a place where you’re going to find other mini-women who feel just like you do.
All right, my Tribelet of beautiful Mini-Women, if we’re going to talk about puberty — EVERYTHING about puberty — we can’t avoid the subject of, well … odors.
Yeah, it’s a bummer but those hormones we’ve been talking about? They don’t just change the way your body looks — they change the way it smells, too.
Have you noticed:
* a general body odor that wasn’t there before? (some people refer to it as B.O. Nice, huh?)
* underarm odor (perfect breeding place for stinkyness)
* smelly feet (with a distinct aroma all their own, especially after they’ve been in tennis shoes all day)
* funky breath (which is lunch plus bacteria)
It’s hard to accept yourself as beautiful when all these less-than-lovely smells are wafting from your body. Seriously, why now when you have bras and periods and hairy legs to think about? We’ll talk about that, but just know that this is the puberty change that’s the easiest to deal with.
Here’s the deal about smelly bodies:
* The same hormones that are changing your shape are also increasing the amount of sweat your sweat glands produce. With millions of those little glands in your body, that can be a lot of perspiration when you’re hot, active, or nervous. Actually, sweat’s a good thing because when it evaporates, you skin cools down and it removes toxins from your body. Too bad it smells gross, right?
* It isn’t the sweat itself that causes that less than delicious aroma; it’s the bacteria living on your skin that break down the sweat and cause an odor.
* Those microscopic critters really like the sweat in your armpits and genital (between your legs) area. It’s warm and dark in those places, perfect conditions for bacteria to enlarge their families.
That’s all well and good, but what do you DO about it? Like I said, it’s actually pretty simple:
(1) Ignore the commercials and magazine ads that say pit odor will ruin your life. If somebody doesn’t want to be your friend because you’re a little stinky between horseback riding and the shower, she needs to take a whiff of her own self. EVERYBODY perspires.
(2) Take a bath or shower every day (maybe every other day in winter if you live in a cold climate). That’ll wash off the bacteria. Pay special attention to those breeding areas.
(3) If you’ve taken a shower in the morning and you get sweaty during the day, at least wash your pits before you hang out with people again.
(4) Wear clean clothes. Bacteria hang out on fabric that hasn’t made it to the laundry. If you tend to sweat a lot, wear clothes that “breathe,” like 100% cotton. It absorbs more moisture and lets air circulate, which helps keep you dry.
(5) If you don’t like the way your armpits smell, use a deodorant, which covers up the body odor with a nice scent of its own, or an antiperspirant, which cuts down on the amount of sweat you produce. Be sure, of course, to wash under your arms before you apply either one.
Speaking of antiperspirants, nobody is quite sure whether the aluminum in underarm products is safe for you, so if you want to be extra careful, choose a deodorant without aluminum or an antiperspirant with “buffered aluminum sulfate.” There is NO evidence that using either one causes cancer — at least not that I’m aware of.
(6) If armpit odor is making you self-conscious and you have hair under your arms, shaving will help stop bacteria from taking up residence. Discuss that with your mom. We’ll talk about the whole shaving thing in a later post.
(7) As for those stinky feet:
a. be sure they’re clean before you put on socks and shoes
b. sprinkle baby, talcum or special foot powder inside your shoes and socks
c. wear clean cotton or wool socks because natural fibers will absorb the sweat
d.same with shoes — wear leather and canvas and try to avoid plastic
e. if your shoes themselves are nasty-smelling, sprinkle baking soda in them, leave them overnight, and shake them out in the morning. Odor Eaters are good too. So are new shoes …
f. don’t wear tennis shoes ALL the time
(8) Bad breath?
a. brush twice a day and before you go out with people
b. floss once a day, even thought it’s boring; do it while you’re watching a movie or something
c. rinse with mouthwash to kill the germs
d. definitely brush after you eat foods like garlic and onions that stay on your breath; if you can’t, rinse with water or eat an apple or suck on a breath mint
Most of all, my Mini-Women, don’t get all stressed out if you detect a little pit odor or your feet reek when you take off your shoes or you can’t get to a toothbrush after you eat Italian food. For Pete’s sake, humans are supposed to smell like humans. It’s only the people marketing mouthwash and deodorant — or absurd little creature boys — or girls who love to point out what’s wrong with everybody else who are going to call you out about stuff like that. If you’re doing your best to stay clean and fresh, without making it your full-time career — and if you’re enjoying being active and eating great food — who CARES what they say?
Besides the point of this really is that you’re taking responsibility for your own body now. So grab your Talking to God Journal and talk to God — and maybe us in a comment — about your attitude about all the new things you need to do to keep clean. Is it a pain, or do you feel more grown-up?
I have one more question to ask you. We haven’t talked here about periods, and that’s mostly because moms usually like to handle that in their own way with their daughters. Will you ask your mom if she minds if I discuss that here? Will you tell me if you’d rather not? I think it’s a perfectly normal human function, but I don’t want to step on any mom-toes. Get back to me, will ya?