'Late Bloomer' Mayim Bialik on Overcoming Cruel Childhood Teasing by Finding Fame (& Her First Kiss!) on TV
Bialik's new book, Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular, releases Tuesday, May 9
Mayim Bialik may have been “teased a lot” while growing up, but she now looks back and is thankful that she was a “late bloomer.”
In her new book, Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular, the Big Bang Theory actress — she stars as Amy Farrah Fowler on the long-running CBS comedy — reveals she developed later than the majority of her female peers — and was teased because of it.
“I was very small for my age and I developed late, so I was teased a lot. I cried a lot and felt left out of many things my whole life, and I still feel that way as an adult sometimes,” the GrokNation founder writes in the book, which releases Tuesday.
Prior to BBT, Bialik found fame as a child actor when she starred as Blossom Russo on the 1990s dramedy, Blossom.
“I developed late; I was really short, and my body didn’t get curves until I was about 16. I didn’t start my menstrual cycle until late in high school. I was not interested in dating, and as I shared before, I had my first kiss when I was acting in a TV show when I was 14,” Bialik writes. “I didn’t have my first real boyfriend until I was 17, and I never ‘casually’ dated. I never hooked up with guys at camp or at school; I have only had long-term relationships, and I believe very strongly in having one committed partner at a time.”
Bialik also notes that when she was young, she “liked a lot of things that people said were for boys,” including “rough sports.”
At the age of 19, Bialik took a break from acting to pursue her education. She earned an undergraduate degree in neuroscience, and then studied for seven more years to get a PhD in neuroscience before returning to TV with BBT, on which she currently plays “a late bloomer who didn’t have sex until she was well into her 30s.”
Although the growth period during her adolescent and teen years was difficult at the time, the self-described “super late bloomer” is grateful when she reflects back on the decade.
“The truth is being a late bloomer turned out to be a good thing for me. The fact that I was left out of a lot of jokes and conversations because I couldn’t relate didn’t end up affecting me much in the long run,” says Bialik, who notes in the book that she was able to spend time in both middle and high school pursuing the passions, activities and extracurriculars that intrigued her.
“I know that being a late bloomer saved me from a lot of the drama and heartache that can come from having lots of relationships, but people who experienced those relationships learned a lot from them, and that’s fine too,” she adds.
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While she felt embarrassed at the time about her “late bloomer” label, the 41-year-old mother of two is now proud of it.
“I used to feel ashamed that I was such a late bloomer, but now I embrace it,” writes Bialik, who adds, “and I get to experience a lot of beauty and joy and love in ways I never imagined I could when I was a shy, awkward girl.”
Bialik’s new book, Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular, is on sale now.