Saturday, January 29News That Matters

Puberty Doesn’t Turn Us Into 'Aliens.' We’re Just Girls | Op-Docs

Adolescence isn’t easy. With puberty comes immense mental and physical change — and a self-consciousness about how you and your body are observed, treated and understood. Bronwen Parker-Rhodes’s previous Op-Docs shed light on what can be isolating about childbirth and menopause. But what’s left unsaid begins even earlier, when girls are often made to feel strange and ashamed about their bodies.

In Bronwen’s short film “Just Girls,” above, girls ages 14 to 17 open up about the excitement, confusion and anxiety of going through puberty today. What they share speaks not just to their peers — or parents — but to all women whose coming-of-age experiences went unacknowledged. Bronwen hopes that rather than gloss over what happens during puberty, we can share it more openly.

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Op-Docs is a forum for short, opinionated documentaries by independent filmmakers. Learn more about Op-Docs and how to submit to the series. Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@NYTopinion).


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  • S. Gabriel

    This is lovely. I saw a lot of myself in these girls. A lot of the same thoughts and experiences, even though we are generations apart.

  • valentin egger

    Respect to them! I think that it is important to educate more, the social presure put on by boys seems to be huge. It soundes like as if boys where accused of not knowing about the period. It is important not to accuse, but instead to educate them on the period. It is impossible for a man what it is and how it works. Men are just not educated about it wich would help to raise awerness! Like in many discussions about feminism men should be included and their voice should also be heard, if not they will just block the conversation, wich is not good. Respect to the girls in the interview!

  • Home Wall

    We raise children to wish they were Peter Pan, and amazingly most US "adults" (by age) also do their best to remain children, based on how we dress and want others to provide for us.

  • Louisa Sevier

    This is a really interesting video for me to watch because I'm only a few years older than these girls and I remember feeling like this. If I could I would tell them that it gets better. But it's not that I don't have some of the same anxieties, I just don't give them as much ability to control my life as I did in high school.

  • Ashlee Lorenda Bird 🐦

    👏👏👏Such respectful, beautiful young women! I'm 36 and I just laughed and smiled throughout this entire video because I can 100% relate! I love how much you a girls are
    so naturally in tuned with yourselves and your bodies! I hope you can all look back one day and are proud of the choices you have made thus far. I cannot say it enough, you girls (young ladies) are the perfect spokeswomen for all young women around the globe going through this exact situation. Beautiful!!!! And remember…girls rule, boys drool🤤 !!! ✌❤🌻🦋🌙🌔🌈👑💄👠🩸🩹🚺♀️

  • Pls WaLuigi Dom Me

    I almost never get cramps but when I do it’s almost exclusively in my bum hole and I completely get what she means. It is seriously painful!!!

  • Jonas X

    Wow, such open and strong young women. It's ridiculous what girls are facing in puberty regarding body shaming/ awareness, while boys just go on…

  • Monky Dollqueen

    If they walk away, let them go. If they don't value you enough to work through the hard times, they don't deserve all the good times.From

  • Panda Power

    I was SOOO jealous of boys when I got my period. I felt like (and still feel like) it's just unfair to have periods and the burden of pregnancy and men dont have that, and they also dont have any empathy about it either most of the time.

  • Disgraceful Harmony

    This is sad, few little know how tough to develop and being a woman it so emotionally unexplainable it's like going through a mystery you will never solve its like a burden u carry around until you make peace with it and forget it

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