When I was a toddler, I didn’t worry much about my appearance. I loved playing with mud and sand, climbing on trees, and even playing with dolls. I never thought that one day I would look similar to my mom. She looked so different from me.
When I turned eight, I started to hear about things that didn’t sound familiar, for example: menstruation and other stuff for pre-teen girls.
A few years passed, and I turned twelve. Believe it or not, I changed a lot during the past years. I became taller, and I started to lose interest in my dolls, because “they are for babies.” At that time, I couldn’t wait to grow up and be an adult whom their parents can’t tell what to do.
My appearance changed a lot over that time, as well as my attitude towards it. When I was around nine years old, my little tummy started to disappear. The baby fat started to sneak up towards my chest. My breasts started to grow! Most of the girls in my age would start to panic because of it and wear baggy clothes to hide their upcoming curves. In contrast, I didn’t pretend to hide them; in fact, I was quite proud of the change in my appearance. I was so self-conscious about my tummy and baby fat that I was relieved when my curves started to develop. No more tummy and less baby fat! Finally, I’m going to be beautiful!
There are some disadvantageous changes as well in the life of a pre-teen girl: body hair. If we don’t shave it, we look like freaking werewolves; moreover, most of our parents consider us ”too young to shave our body hair.” Because of this, some pre-teen girls can hear whispers in the locker room before or after P.E. lesson:
“Have you seen Dora? Her armpits are getting hairy.”
The other disturbing factors are period and pimples. Our face can look like a redberry pudding, while our stomach hurts and we’re bleeding all week long. During this process, several hormones intensify and cause us emotional instability. We start to cry for no reason, like a five-year-old. Too bad, isn’t it? From a happy toddler, we turn into emotionally unstable, pimple-headed, sometimes self-hating fools.
After a couple of years, we go to high school. For me, it was like a nightmare at first, because it took me eight years to gain acceptance in my primary school class. Now, I had to do this again, but I had only four years left to make friends, get integrated, and not be hated. I feel my optimism spreading….
In some high schools, society has standards, especially for us girls. If we dress too girly: we are sluts. If we have many guy friends: we are sluts. If we dress up in a slightly masculine way, because the clothes in the female section are for anorexic topmodels: we will labeled ugly, and have rumours spoken about us. If we lose our virginity: we are SLUTS. If we don’t: we are prudes. Double standards haunt us for eternity. And meanwhile our hormones are stronger then ever. Hello emotional instability and more self-hating, nice to meet you!
Luckily, we can get through this process over time, which means: growing up. I am sixteen years old, so two years from now, I will be considered an adult, and to be honest: I don’t want it. In my opinion, one of my biggest transformations is that I used to want to grow up, but now I wish I could be a seven-year-old again, sometimes. No responsibility, just some homework from school, and playing. Or even changing a few things: taking karate more seriously, starting to play an instrument earlier and under different conditions, and a lot more. But how it actually went, I can’t regret. I did almost everything as I pleased. I wasn’t forced to take up a hobby, or continue doing one. I just had a happy childhood, and I wish I could live through it again.