Puberty is a name for the time when you start to change from a child to an adult. Puberty is normal—it happens to everyone. You'll go through a lot of changes, but you will still be YOU—with some important diﬀerences. This is one girl’s story.
I am Thandi and I live in South Africa.
When I turned 13 my skin changed. My back and shoulders were full of pimples and my thighs and legs had stretch marks. It was hard to be happy because I was always so aware of how bad my skin looked. I would always wear a cap to cover the pimples and blackheads on my face, especially on my forehead.
I would wear long sleeves and a long skirt. Anything to cover up. I felt very depressed, because people were mean to me. Also, I believed that no guy would want to date a person with such bad skin, so I stayed at home and didn’t go out much.
But things changed when I met a guy at my church. He was sweet to me and after we had been friends for a while he told me that he loved everything about me. I could not believe it! He helped me look past what was on the outside. I know I am a good person I just got so upset about the way I looked that I forgot to love and care for my body.
I have accepted the stretch marks but I have started to really look after myself more. I wash my face twice a day with soap and water. I exercise and avoid oily food. I know the pimples will clear up eventually. I used to cry every day because people were so mean about the way I looked.
But I am not going to hide behind closed doors anymore. I have love and pride in my heart and no matter what I look like on the outside, am going to focus on my education and my future, because that is what is really important.