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comparison to my friends

hi sam,
I'm 14 and I feel so ugly compared to my friends. all my friends have big eyes, big boobs, amazing figures and are generally so much prettier than i am! lots of people say i'm pretty but i never believe them! i try and put on makeup when me and my friends go out, but i never feel like i can look like my friends. there is one friend, who is my best friend, and if we met up with guys they would always say she is fittest, which always brings me down because i know what guys are like, and they always compare girls, and i don't even want to know what they say about me! i don't know what to do or how to feel! how can i start getting attention from the guys and not be in my friends shadows? thanks in advance!
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Sam

Hi there,

Thanks for sending this letter and letting me know how you are feeling at the moment. I want to let you know that you are not alone. Many people feel down about their personal appearance at some time and I hear from a lot of young people who have been comparing themselves to others. The important thing is not to let this begin to really affect your self-esteem and confidence.

You say that you have been feeling ugly and down because you don’t feel as pretty as your friends. Try to remember that everyone is different and that you will have attractive qualities that your friends don’t have. Comparing ourselves to another person, like you have been doing with your best friend, is never helpful.

I’d like you to try to spend some time focussing on what is great about you. Think about your talents and interests and the things that make you unique and a nice person to be around. If you do this, hopefully you will begin to feel a bit more confident and begin to build your self-esteem. You said that you have friends around you and it seems like they see you as someone who is worth hanging out with and getting to know.

Confidence can be a really attractive quality, so improving how you feel about yourself and having lots of genuine interests will help you feel like a positive and attractive person to be around. Once you start to believe in yourself more, you will find it easier to believe that other people will want to pay you attention too.

There is some information about Self-esteem in Explore that you might find useful. Also some young people have been discussing Self-esteem on the message boards. You might like to have a look and see what others are saying or leave a message yourself.

Remember that ChildLine is always here if you want to talk about how you're feeling. You can talk to a counsellor for free by calling 0800 1111 or by logging on for a 1-2-1 chat. I hope this helps.

Take care,

Sam

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