Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Am I ugly?

My friends say I am pretty and guys should be fighting for me and if they aren't then its their loss, but if I really was pretty I would have hade a boyfriend by now. And I need a boost to my self esteem because it is affecting my school work, and don't give me any crap about "Its whats on the inside that counts" because guys don't bother to see your personality unless you are pretty. I just need someone to tell me the truth, not just lie to make me feel better.
Ask Sam


Hi there

Thanks for taking time to write this letter. I can hear how important it for you to know that people are being honest with you.

It seems like you are really worried about your appearance at the moment. I can hear that not having a boyfriend is making you wonder if you are ugly, even though your friends notice how pretty you are. It sounds like you are putting a lot of pressure on yourself to have a boyfriend.

Whether or not you have a boyfriend is never just about what you look like. Even models who may seem very conventionally pretty, won’t always have boyfriends. Finding a boyfriend is about meeting the right person for you, and it sounds like that just hasn’t happened for you yet. People often feel pressured in to going out with someone just for the sake of having a boyfriend, but often those types of relationships are not much fun.

You’ve told me that you think boys don’t really care about a girl’s personality unless they think the girl is pretty. You’re right that we are often attracted to people who we believe are nice looking, but we will all have very different ideas of what “nice looking” means. You are also right when you say that looks are sometimes the first thing that a person notices, but they are not the only thing that is important. Being attracted to someone can be about other things too, such as having confident body language, or creating a positive atmosphere around you. Having similar interests or being able to have a laugh with someone can also both be a magnet for potential partners. It sounds to me like you’ve got some lovely friends who think you’re great, and that makes me think there’s plenty of things about you that boys will find attractive.

I can hear that your lack of confidence is affecting your school work. A starting point for building your self-esteem can be to recognise the good qualities that you have. You could have a look at the Body Image pages in Explore to get some ideas. It might also be helpful to talk this through with a ChildLine counsellor, who would listen to how you feel and help you to find a way forward. If you would like to do that, you can ring the counsellors for free on 0800 1111 or log in for a 1-2-1 chat.

Many young people say that it helps to look at the ChildLine message boards, as it’s a way to share their thoughts, feelings and ideas with others in similar situations. Maybe you could check that out too.

I do hope this helps.

Take Care


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