One of the biggest changes that teenagers face is the process of becoming sexually mature, a process known as puberty. Puberty often happens between 10 to 14 for girls and 12 to 16 for boys, but each person will experience it differently. Just as our faces are all made of the same parts – eyes, ears, nose, mouth – but they all look completely different, so is the case for the rest of our bodies! Let’s look at some of the changes that teenagers can expect during puberty.
Most teenagers will grow taller and gain some weight in the form of muscle mass and body fat, especially in the first year of puberty. For girls, they may notice slighter rounder hips or a larger chest. For boys, the shoulders will grow wider and their bodies will become more muscular.
Teenagers may find themselves feeling irritable for no reason or feeling happy one minute and then suddenly feeling down the next, without understanding why. This is likely a result of hormonal fluctuations in the body, but the pressure to perform at school or challenges between friends can also affect one’s moods. Ask for support when needed.
What is that smell? As the body changes, it’s common to see an increase in how much a person sweats. As that sweat is combined with bacteria, it will cause body odor. One of the most common places to observe this reaction is the underarm area.
Don’t be surprised if hair is growing where it didn’t grow before! Boys and girls will both begin to grow hair under their arms and in their pubic areas (on and around the genitals). Eventually, guys also start to grow hair on their faces.
The more you understand how your body works, the better you can take care of it. There’s no reason to feel uncomfortable about your body because everyone at some point will go through changes. You are not alone! If the changes in your body start to affect your self-confidence or have a negative impact, make sure to reach out for support.