It started happening to my year-old daughter this spring. The pants I hemmed up in June were too short by October, despite only being washed once. As a loving mom and adolescent medicine specialist, these are heady times for me. I am proud of my daughter and thrilled to see her embark on this road toward womanhood. I know that she is progressing normally. My daughter is perfectly normal. Puberty, often first recognized at the onset of breast development, usually begins about the time a girl turns
Johns Hopkins All Children's Receives U.S. News & World Report Honors
Is this normal? There's a wide range considered "normal" regarding when puberty starts and how fast it progresses. For girls, puberty generally starts sometime between 8 and 13 years of age. For most girls, the first evidence of puberty is breast development, but for others it may be the growth of pubic hair. As breasts start to grow, a girl will have small, firm, sometimes tender lumps called breast buds under her nipples. In some cases one breast will start to develop weeks or months before the other; the breast tissue will get larger and become less firm over the next few years. The first signs of puberty are followed 1 or 2 years later by a noticeable growth spurt. Her body will begin to build up fat, particularly in the breasts and around her hips and thighs, as she takes on the contours of a woman. Her arms, legs, hands, and feet will also get bigger.
For three decades, photographer Jock Sturges has made naked girls his life's work. He has surveyed every variety of underage pulchritude — coltish, strong, lithe, wholesome, sultry, aloof, curvaceous, athletic. The children, adolescents and women who have beguiled Sturges will be on view in a retrospective of his work opening April 5 at Momus Gallery. Unlike Sturges' self-proclaimed childhood penchant for celluloid ice queens, the photographer's images are far from any Grace Kelly notion of beauty. Instead, these photographs — of young girls reclining indoors or draped across rock jetties beachside — have everything to do with Sturges' particular taste in bodies and age brackets, as distinctly his own as the large-boned Amazonian women of fashion photographer Helmut Newton. In an art world limbo somewhere between Sally Mann artfulness and Bruce Weber and Herb Ritts cheesecake, Sturges' work hovers between old school photographic portraiture and poster art with its unceasing attention to seductive beauty. I find them physically beautiful and in that finding, find no small percentage of my instinct to photograph them," says Sturges, in a phone interview from his home in Seattle. But it is the implicitly erotic nature of his photographs of naked children who display themselves unself-consciously for the camera that has haunted Sturges' career. These frankly displayed images of newly formed breasts, bald genitalia and the downy-white hair that covers young bodies are unquestionably beautiful and poetic because children are beautiful and poetic.
Let's get one thing straight: boobs are boobs. They can be round or flat, plump or small, pointy or saggy, wide-set or forward-facing. And did you know there are eight different types of nipples? That's right. And what's crazy is that the world expects all our boobs to be the same, to fit into some "perfect" mold — which usually includes a form-fitting bra. Seriously, is there anything really wrong with going commando?