Melody's Story: Puberty is Not a Race
By: Melody Lau
Looking back at my elementary school days, I’m now wondering: why were we in such a rush to grow up?
I remember my friends and I would always dream about the “cool things” that we’ll be able to do when we’re adults, such as buying whatever we wanted or simply not asking our parents for permission to go out.
We would also look up to our favourite celebrities and movie characters, from dreaming of having a relationship like Troy and Gabriella from High School Musical to looking and acting like Sharpay Evans.
Our desire for freedom and new experiences also created social pressures, as elementary school often felt like a competition of who could mature the fastest: emotionally and physically.
Although I cared the least, I went through puberty first among my friends around the age of 9 or 10.
I was usually the tallest girl in my class and I would have to stand with the guys in the back row for class photos. Alongside my height, I developed breasts and I didn’t really know what to feel or how to react since my friends had barely any knowledge of them either.
My friends were also wondering and joking around if I was wearing a push-up bra. I laughed along, but I was embarrassed deep down even though they were all excited about wearing a bra for the first time.
I just wanted to stop growing so quickly…
My mom also didn’t really discuss much about the aspects of puberty with me as I was growing up, but I didn’t care too much to learn as well.
When she took me bra shopping at Walmart and Ardene, I was pretty indifferent about the whole process and I just agreed to whatever she picked for me, as long as the design was cute enough.
Looking back, I think I was putting on a nonchalant attitude because I wanted to seem “cool” and unphased, but I now see the importance of educating yourself and not letting anyone dictate or make you feel bad about growth.
I should’ve been more involved in the process of getting to know my body and picking what’s right for me even if it’s just choosing what kind of bra you want. For example, I wish I spoke up when some of the underwires from the bras would come out easily and poke me in my sleep.
Soon after, my friends started growing boobs and became way taller than me. By high school, I was one of the shortest people in my class. Standing at 5’3 and a half (the half is important), I wish that I was taller now.
Basically, puberty is super unexpected and you really never know when you will start growing and when you stop. It’s a natural process and whether we like it or not at first, we have to learn how to embrace and love ourselves.
We may always think there’s something to critique about our bodies or there’s something wrong, but self-love goes a long way and is a practicing virtue for life.
Please remember that puberty and life itself is not a race, as everyone has different bodies and life paths. A year makes a big change or even a few months!
About the Author:
Melody is a Master’s student in Journalism and Communication at Western and hopes to pursue a career in entertainment or investigative journalism. She also loves Letterboxd, country music and is excited to be a part of the Apricotton Team! Connect with her here.