For Girls: Understanding Puberty

If you are between the ages of 8 and 14, you're probably starting puberty. This stage of your life is when you change from a girl into a young woman. Puberty will last a few years. During puberty, your body will go through some amazing changes. And your feelings may take you on a roller coaster ride.

Woman and teen girl shopping for clothes.

Your Body Sends Signals

Your body gives you clues that you are becoming a young adult.

Curves Ahead

New curves may appear as you get fuller hips and bigger breasts. To feel less "bouncy," you might ask your mother to help you buy a bra that's right for you. Both breasts may not grow at the same rate. But with time, they will get more even, although it is perfectly normal — and quite common — for 1 breast to be slightly larger than the other. 

Hair, Hair Everywhere

Hair grows under your arms and on your legs. It even grows between your legs. This hair may be coarser and curlier than the hair on your head.

Don't Sweat It

You now sweat (perspire) more under the arms. Wash well each day. To help you stay dry and avoid odor, you can use an antiperspirant or deodorant on your underarms.


Your skin may break out in pimples. To help control breakouts, keep your skin clean. Using acne products from the store may also reduce pimples. If your pimples really bother you, talk to your doctor.

A Roller Coaster Ride of Feelings

Becoming a young woman isn't always easy. Here are a few feelings that many girls have.

Is the Whole World Watching?

You may feel too tall, too curvy, too...everything. And that everyone seems to be looking at you. It's normal to feel self-conscious about your body when you're a teen. Try to focus on other things — like school, friends, hobbies, or sports.

Feeling Sad

Most girls are extra-sensitive at your age. At times you may feel sad or lonely. To help brighten your mood, listen to music, talk to friends, or play with a pet.

Getting Mad!

People may annoy you. You may argue with your parents. Gossip may get between you and your friends. If you start to feel angry, take time out to calm down. Try a few deep breaths. Then, find a better way to work things out.