A lot of kids love playing sports and being active in gym class… until puberty hits. Maybe it’s because your busy schedule means it’s tougher to commit to a sports team, or maybe it’s because giving gym class your all suddenly becomes less fun when you’re worried about feeling sweaty and gross next period.
Or maybe it’s because you developed boobs, according to findings from a new study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
In a survey of 2,089 British girls ages 11-18, 46 percent of girls reported that their boobs impacted their participation in compulsory sports and exercise. Breast pain and discomfort (experienced by 72 percent of girls) was the biggest problem; 38 percent of girls reported dealing with breast bounce. More than 50 percent said they never wore sports bras, which are key for feeling comfortable and well-supported while working out.
But it’s not just girls with large chests that opting out of sports and gym class.
High school junior Andria Castillo, 17, told the New York Times that she dropped out of taekwondo classes after she began feeling self-conscious about her chest size, which she felt was too small for her age.
“I felt boys and girls were making fun of me,” Castillo said. “Even though no one called me out, I felt they were, behind my back. I was taking taekwondo, and I would look in the big mirror and try to find ways to cover myself up and hide. I asked my dad if I could stop going.”