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Body Types
by Emily
 Age 16

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  Photo of Emily
     Emily, Age 16
  Everyone's body is different. What happens a lot of times is that we get so bombarded by media images that we get used to seeing only one body type, that of a 5'10", 115 lb. "freak" of nature. We as girls aren't told that only 2% of the population looks like that and that the rest of us are just as beautiful.  
What's Happening to My Body?

spacerWhen a girl goes through puberty, she sometimes isn't aware of the changes that WILL happen to her body as it matures. These changes are normal and we don't have control over them. Here's what you can expect!

  • At about age 11 a growth spurt begins
  • Breasts begin to develop and the hips become rounded (it's normal to have hips!)
  • Pubic hair begins to appear (yes, it's supposed to be there)
  • The uterus and vagina increase in size
  • Pubic hair becomes well established and breasts continue to develop
  • Growth reaches its peak rate at around the age 12. This is the time when It seems everything is developing at once.
  • The menstrual cycle (your period) begins

spacerThis doesn't happen at the same age in every girl. Some girls begin puberty as early as 3rd grade and as late as high school sometimes. The point is that during adolescence a girl's body is rapidly changing along with her emotions and this can leave her feeling very vulnerable. But it helps to know that we all go through it!

Why Am I So Different? Learning to Accept Your Body…

spacerNot one person has the same body as another. It's okay to accept your body and to love it even though it's not "perfect." Remember, THERE IS NO PERFECT BODY contrary to popular belief.

Doctors have identified 3 main body types though it is important to note that most people aren't one body type or another. Rather, most girls are a combination of at least 2. They are as follows.

Ectomorph - This girl is small framed & thin and has narrow shoulders &hips. She may have trouble gaining weight and building muscle.

Mesomorph - This girl is considered to be a normal weight: not fat, not skinny. She packs on muscle easily, can lose weight easily (up to a certain point), and has shoulders that are wider that her hips.

Endomorph - This girl is what's considered pear shaped meaning her hips are wider than her shoulders. She can gain weight easily and is curvy.

  Body Types, graphic
"Be You" by Emily, Age 16
You Are Unique!

spacerIt's important to recognize that your body was made to be unique and not have unrealistic expectations like thinking you can look like that underweight model in Vogue if you're an Endomorph. You're beautiful anyway! Don't try to change what nature has given you. Love and accept it. Emme, the plus size model is a perfect example of someone who, even though not the typical looking model, is beautiful. She says in her book True Beauty, "We are all built differently and yet every woman I know has at one time or another tried to fit herself into some perverse notion of what she should look like. What a waste!" And remember the next time you compare your body or weight to someone else's: Your body has a natural weight range which it's made to weigh, and it will fight to stay within that range. Be educated and know what to expect from your body. Don't feel pressure to diet just because it seems like everyone else is doing it. And most of all, respect yourself!