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Girltalk Fourth Edition
All the Stuff Your Sister Never Told You
Looking and Feeling Your Best
Too fat, too flat, too tall, too small -- are you 100 percent happy with your appearance? Hardly anyone is. It's especially hard now. Your body may be growing in all directions, blemishes may freckle your face, hair may be sprouting here and there, your period may be a mystery. What is going on inside you anyway? Are you stuck with your features and figure?
Looks make a difference in first impressions. But so do friendliness, intelligence, thoughtfulness, and a sense of humor. And with a little effort, anybody can look attractive.
Since you and your body are together for the long haul, you need to learn to take care of it. This chapter is about how to be your most healthy and radiant.Do Guys Worry About Their Bodies?
Before we launch into a discourse about breasts and periods, you might be wondering if guys ever worry about their bodies. Answer: They do.
Sure, a few wink in the mirror each morning and think they're God's Gift to Manhoodand Womankind. But most wrestle with puberty-related anxiety.
Guys wonder whether they're tall enough, whether their pecs and biceps bulge enough, whether their chest, facial, and pubic hair will ever grow. They wish their voices would get deeper and stop croaking. They're tired of having braces and pimples and feeling clumsy and gangly and hungry all the time. They wish they were more handsome and that their hands wouldn't sweat when they ask you to slow dance.
Guys worry extra in gym showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms because they figure someone might be checking out their private parts. And someone probably is! Guys don't just worry about size; some even worry that their organ is crooked!
Here's another male concern: wet dreams. Guys your age sometimes wake up to find they've ejaculated during the night, and they wonder if that's normal. Yes. It's also normal for guys to get erections at odd timesin the morning, in math class, or even when taking a foul shot in basketball.
Many guys feel uneasy about their sexuality. Are they oversexed if they masturbate a lot, undersexed if they don't? If they have an orgasm quickly when they masturbate, does that mean they'll be premature ejaculators in years to come? If they haven't started dating, or if they've played sex games with other guys or admire their male coach, does that mean they're gay? If they have an X-rated fantasy involving a married woman teacher, does that mean they're twisted? No, no, no, and no. Guys grow at different sexual speeds and need not be worried by early imaginings or experiences.
In one important way, girls have an advantage over guys in the Worry Department. Most guys don't discuss their growing pains, whereas, luckily for us, most girls do. It's not uncommon for a girl to complain, "I wish my breasts were bigger." But find me a guy who would say, "I wish my penis were bigger." It's a shame guys aren't more open and honest together. They have as many questions, troubles, and fears as girls, but fewer outlets. Guys tease and taunt each other, yet tend to fret alone. They don't even have many magazines or books to consult. But you do. So keep reading!Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Breasts
Back to us girls.
If you're like me, you sometimes get fed up with your figure. Why can't your breasts be medium instead of mountains or molehills?
It's frustrating that your body's timetable answers to hormones and heredity, rather than to your own wishful thinking. If you haven't started developing yet, you may be feeling shortchanged. If you've been developing for years, you may worry you'll wind up with watermelons. Either way, you might envy the average girls who strut around the locker room parading their bra-and-panty sets.
I envied them. I was in a mad rush to grow up. I couldn't wait to get my breasts on and my braces off, to start getting periods and stop getting pimples. At 14, I was a restless late-blooming flatso. I dressed behind curtains and cringed at breast jokes.
Why are you a sailor's delight? Because you have a sunken chest! What do members of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee wear instead of bras? Band-Aids! Pretend you're a boy for a minute. Ahh . . . doesn't that take a load off your chest? Poor Rebecca, girls said, was so flat she could wear her bra inside out. And people teased Sophie that she'd knock down passersby if she turned without warning.
At first hardly anybody was happy. My friend Ali was as distressed about being busty as I was about being flat. She sported baggy shirts to hide her dramatic décolletage.
It was Ali who told me of the Best Breast Test. "To find out if you need a bra, place a pencil underneath one of your boobs and see if it stays up," she explained. I ducked into the bathroom . . . and my pencil clattered to the floor. Ali handed me two of her outgrown bras anyway"booby" prizes, since she'd graduated to larger sizes. I still couldn't imagine putting them on, however. A stringbean classmate had worn a bra to a party the previous weekend and a boy had jeered, "Would you wear shoes if you didn't have feet?"
Status was at stake when we discussed bra sizes. The ideal seemed to be As in school and Bs in bust. I earned no grade: just an incomplete. Later when the subject switched to boys, books, baby-sitting...Girltalk Fourth Edition
All the Stuff Your Sister Never Told You. Copyright © by Carol Weston. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.