Annie Fox for Teens... Hey, Terra!

Annie (AKA Hey Terra!) has been around long enough to have experienced a lot of what Life can dish out. But, it hasn’t been so long that she's forgotten what it's like to be your age. Check out some of the thousands of email questions teens from around the world have sent to Terra. You may learn something useful from her answers:

Self-image:
“I can't help it if I have breasts and they don't!”

Hey Terra,

I am 11 years old and I have a period and unlike the zillions of girls in my school, I have big breasts as well. It's embarrassing when we have physical education classes because we have to change in front of everybody else and if I change in the stalls, which have doors and locks, I would be laughed at.

Recently someone looked in my schoolbag and found my pads! She scattered them on the floor and I had to pick them up all by myself! What can I do?

Embarrassed

Dear Embarrassed,

The girl who scattered your pads on the floor was acting in an unkind and immature way. My guess is that she felt a little jealous because you had already reached this phase in your physical development and she hadn't. That made her feel "less than" you... Sometimes when people feel "less than" someone else, they try to put the other person down. It's nuts, but that's what some people do when they feel jealous.

I know it's hard to be different from other girls at this time, but I guarantee it won't be too long before other girls "catch up" to you when it comes to breast development and the rest.

I know, I know, you wish your breast were smaller right now so you could blend right in. (And I get regular emails from girls who wish they had larger breasts!) Bigger, smaller... And then you think all of your problems will be over. It's not about your body. It's about the "real" you... your gifts and talents and how you use them to help others.

None of us get to choose the body we're born with and even though you are currently having issues with the size of your breasts, they are a part of your body which serves you in so many amazing ways. Since you can't change your breasts, you need to work with whatever you can control... And that's your point of view. You've decided that it's "embarrassing" to have those breasts. What if you shifted that opinion just a bit and decided that "these breasts are OK just the way they are."

If I were you, I'd talk to the P.E. teacher privately, calmly, and respectfully. Let her know what happened with the pads. Let her know how you feel about changing in front of the others and LISTEN to what she says. I guarantee you're not the first student she's had with these feeling. Do yourself a favor and talk to your teacher. She will help you feel less uncomfortable about the changes going on.

In friendship,

Terra


Need some advice? Write to Terra. She'll give you a straight answer you can trust without any lectures.


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