Puberty. It’s something we all go through. It’s normal. So why isn’t it talked about in YA? Why are the teenagers we read about not going through the same changes we’ve gone through or are still going through? This is something I’ve been thinking about.
I’ve been reading a lot of fantasy and dystopian YA lately and something I’ve noticed is that these characters that range anywhere from 15-18 years old, aren’t dealing with changes in their bodies. Why aren’t female protagonists getting their periods? Why aren’t male protagonists voices breaking? Why aren’t these characters going through these changes?
I love YA, it’s my favourite genre and you can see why in my Why I Love YA post. But I want to see realistic teenagers in the books I read. I want to see young women getting their periods because it’s normal. I want to see teenagers dealing with acne and voice changes and growth. We have all been through puberty and I don’t understand why it’s not discussed in popular YA. We see teenagers who are insecure about their bodies and appearances which is normal, but why is that often as far as it goes?
From the top of my head, I can’t recall a book I read in which the man character dealt with any of those things. I think the times I have seen periods discussed in YA it’s relating to pregnancy which is something I don’t really understand. YA is pretty open about sex and sexuality and mental illness and drugs and alcohol, so why does it seem like puberty is taboo?
One of the reasons I love YA is that it’s pretty realistic when it comes to the things that happen to teenagers, but the body changes teenagers go through aren’t spoken about. I want the teenagers I read about to be realistic. Puberty is a part of life we all go through, we all handle it in different ways and I want to see it spoken about or at least mentioned in YA.
This isn’t so much as a discussion as it is me ranting so I’ll probably end up deleting this post later. But I want to know your thoughts.
Comment below your thoughts on realistic teenagers in YA, let’s chat!