We all know and talk about how one of the worst things that can happen to a woman is slut-shaming. However, if we go back a little, it turns out, this is not the first time a woman will feel shame. Boys and girls pass through changes in their life that we call now “puberty”. Boys start to have deeper voices, their bodies grow more mature, they start to have a mustache and soon enough a beard. All a boy can think about is that “he is starting to become a man” and suddenly gain a lot of confidence in himself. On the other hand, girls start to have bigger breasts, their bodies start to shape more, they start to have their period and that is one of the first times a woman feels ashamed. Their confidence fades away and they feel ashamed about their body transformation.
We can see, in a woman’s journey, she has to go through a lot of shame. And the first one is “puberty shame”. Along with all the transition and development in their bodies, there comes an enormous humiliation. It happens around the age of 14, girls start to lose confidence, which can have a lot of negative effects on them. The absence of confidence can inhibit risk-taking, perseverance and certainly reaching their full potential. CLAIRE SHIPMAN, KATTY KAY and JILLELLYN RILEY ‘The Atlantic’ covers had a survey for their latest book and made it with the help of Ypulse. The girls surveyed were asked to rate their confidence on a scale of 0 to 10, and from the ages of 8 to 14, the average of girls’ responses fell from approximately 8.5 to 6, a drop-off of 30 percent.
It is really shocking how puberty hits differently for a male compared to a female. Boys start fooling around acting like men and describing themselves as strong and fearless however girls start questioning themselves ‘am I pretty enough?’, ‘am I smart enough?’, ‘will people accept and love me for who I truly am?” and many more things that induce shame about what is happening to them.
In my perspective, puberty is what defines a girl, a woman. It is the beauty of their transformation, it is what makes them who they have become. There is absolutely no reason to be ashamed, on the contrary they have to embrace it.
In conclusion, not a lot of people know exactly how it feels to be a teenage girl and all the transformations that happen to them physically and mentally. It is one of the most important phases in a woman’s life. She most likely experiences a lot during this period of time, unfortunately, shame takes a big part. Not many people talk about “puberty shame” which makes it unknown. But it is certainly an important topic to discuss, and that is why I chose to do some research and write about it.
-The 4 Times A Woman Is Mostly Likely To Experience Shame In Her Life https://www.elle.com/life-love/a29456/woman-shame-timeline/
-How Puberty Kills Girls’ Confidence https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2018/09/puberty-girls-confidence/563804/
-puberty for girls is difficult enough without added shame https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/intersection/puberty-girls-difficult-enough-without-added-shame