Every teenage girl has the exact same body type, right?
So why does Brandy Melville only sell one size? Brandy Melville is a popular clothing brand for teenage girls that only sells one size clothes: small. Signs around Brandy Melville announce “one size fits most.” I wish I was joking.
What is a teenage girl supposed to think when the only pair of shorts available for her to try on don’t fit over her hips? Is it even possible for her to be happy with her body in that moment? Do you think she feels beautiful? And how is she supposed to feel when she walks out of the dressing room and sees the rest of her friends standing in line at the register, arms full of teensy dresses?
No, Brandy Melville, one size does not fit most.
While Brandy Melville doesn’t understand girls’ bodies, Natural Family Planning and Fertility Awareness methods sure do. This is why there is not a “one size fits all” NFP or FA method; there are many different methods. One common misunderstanding about NFP/FA is that there is only one way to track your fertility. Not true! Because there are several different biomarkers that women can observe and track to understand their cycles, there are many different ways to use NFP/FA.
At a retreat I attended last year, I had two roommates. Both used NFP/FA, but not the same method. Throughout our week, Sarah* and Allison* chatted about their methods, and by the end of our retreat, they “swapped.” What Sarah disliked about her method, Allison wished she had, and vice versa! And the best part? Sarah and Allison could immediately begin using their new methods; unlike hormonal methods, NFP/FA don’t require your body to go any detox period whatsoever. Allison and Sarah just had to learn how to observe new biomarkers or how to track them in a new way.
As the story about Sarah and Allison illustrates, each woman’s body is unique and different NFP/FA methods may be easier for different women to use. Additionally, our bodies change over time. The NFP/FA method that works for you best before you have a baby might no longer be the best method for you postpartum.
The wide variety of NFP and Fertility Awareness methods celebrates the beautiful diversity of the women who use them. I’m looking forward to the day when Fertility Awareness is a part of every girl’s life. (And also to the day when Brandy Melville decides that every girl deserves to wear trendy clothes.)
*Names changed for privacy