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Changes to your shape

Girl on scale at the doctor

How your body looks changes a lot during puberty. For one, usually between the ages of 9 and 13, girls grow much faster than they had been growing. This process, called a growth spurt, happens later for boys. That explains why you may be taller than the boys in your grade for a while.

You likely will also see lots of other changes in your body during puberty. Keep reading for info on:

Changes in your body during puberty arrow. top

These are some of the changes you can expect during puberty:

  • A curvier shape
  • Wider hips, thighs, and bottom
  • Normal weight gain as your body structure grows
  • Stretch marks, or little scars, where your skin was pulled from growing fast (but that usually fade over time)

You’ll also see more body hair, changes to your breasts, and possibly some acne. We’ve got lots of helpful tips on each of those topics, too!

Keep in mind that these changes all are common and normal! And make sure to take good care of your great, growing body. With everything that's going on, it’s important to eat well, stay fit, and get enough sleep.

Your feelings about your changing body arrow. top

During puberty your body may seem very different from what you’re used to, and you might feel uncomfortable or shy about it. Remember that everyone goes through these changes — it’s just part of life — and every girl grows at her own pace.

During puberty, it’s common to struggle with body image, or how you feel about your body. This can be especially hard when models in magazines have bodies that seem “perfect.” But a lot of what you see in magazines and online is either fake or unhealthy.

If you think you or a friend may have a problem with body image or an eating disorder, talk to a parent, a doctor, or another adult you trust. Help is available, and it’s important to get treated. You can get better!

Remember, measure yourself by your great traits and loving heart — not by the size and shape of your body!

 

Content last reviewed April 15, 2014
Page last updated May 23, 2014

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health.

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