Perhaps you’re wondering why I agreed to review The Body Scoop for Girls by Jennifer Ashton, MD (with Christine Larson). I mean, after all, I’m an everyday mom to two boys. If you read The Chronicles of Munchkin Land, it might make a bit more sense to you. When it comes down to it, how girls are being educated about their bodies is important to me for many reasons.
- I didn’t have enough information about my own body or cycle and thus felt ashamed for years. Years meaning well into my twenties, after I was married.
- I didn’t see a gynecologist until I was 21. I won’t tell you when I was first sexually active but as the suggestion is that girls see a gynecologist between 13-15, I might have figured out earlier that my cycles weren’t normal years and years and years earlier.
- I want to raise boys who understand and respect women. Knowing what I can know to help them understand things as well is very important to me.
For the most part, I really liked this book. As I read through the chapters and listened to Ashton’s advice, I kept wishing that this book had been around when I was going through puberty, adolescence and dealing with all those life changes. In so many ways, this book brought forth the things that I needed to know and hear but was not learning or hearing at school or at home. From the information about periods and mucus (I didn’t know to call it mucus until I was trying to conceive) to the positive body image talk (I had an eating disorder though high school and college) to the urge to postpone sex until after the age of eighteen, it’s everything I needed.
One section that made me roll my eyes, however, was the anti-piercing section. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want my teens (of any gender) running out and getting piercings (visible or not-so-visible) without my knowledge, permission and presence. If any gendered teen of mine asked for a genital piercing, I’d have to say no. However, I thought the book was rather one sided against piercings in general. The truth is that there are experienced piercers who run clean, sanitary studios and perform their piercings with pride and knowledge. More over, any fan of piercings knows that a VCH isn’t going to actually pierce the clitoris. For more information on piercings, visit The Piercing Bible. Never get anything pierced without researching both the styles of piercing and the actual piercers. More over, teens, my young friends, don’t ever get a piercing without your parents’ permission. It’s not cool. (Sorry for the side track but it’s a pet peeve of mine when people put down piercings or piercers without giving all of the information!)
Back to me being ashamed of my body back in the day: it was so bad that I wouldn’t even change my pad if another girl came into the bathroom. I was horribly embarrassed about anything body-wise. I don’t know if it’s because I knew nothing or because I got my period at the young age of 10 or if I would have been equally embarrassed if I had been a late bloomer. I do know that a book like this, using the friendly, understanding language that it does might have made a difference.
I’m passing this book on to my friends with girls who are just entering the world of puberty. Do I think it needs to be read at age 10? No. Do I think moms of girls should be reading this before their daughters hit puberty so that they know the proper terminology to use? Yes. Do I think moms of girls should be gauging their daughters’ maturity levels so that they know when they’re ready to read it on their own (or together)? Definitely.
The SV Moms Group is doing a blog tour for this book. Check out all of the other reviews by visiting this post!
[Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my candid review. I received no other compensation.]