Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Looks don't seem to be everything

Sam, I'm having a bit of an issue lately with my "looks". One day I can look at myself in the mirror and say, "B* your actually really pretty." Other days I cry while sitting in the mirror making myself think I am worthless, stupid, and ugly... I get so upset because I feel like out of everyone I know, I have to be the one chosen to have a small gap in their teeth, or that one day I get acne on my face. Being 11 and going into middle school is tough. Your known by your appearence, not how smart you are. I don't know what to think of myself anymore. I don't know what to do!
Sincerely, B* 
Ask Sam


Hi B*,

When you start to become more aware of the way you look, it’s natural to compare yourself to people around you. If you then worry or feel bad about your own appearance, it can be a very painful experience.

Sometimes the way you feel about your looks can be affected by your moods. During puberty, it’s normal for moods to change quite a lot.

Having good self-esteem or confidence means feeling good about yourself. Not just the way you look but all the different parts of you. When young people feel unsure or bad about the way they look, it can often be low self confidence that makes them feel that way. Thinking about ways to build confidence in yourself can be a helpful way to start improving those feelings.

Saying positive phrases to yourself while looking in the mirror can be a good technique to start recognising what’s good about you. You could think of 3 different things you like about yourself and repeat them to yourself each day. They can be anything at all about your personality or your appearance. It's important to remember that there is a lot more to someone that the way they look.

Moving on from primary school can be a really difficult time. And it’s natural to have worries about starting your new school. It might help to remember that everyone in your year will be having similar feelings. We have some useful information about moving up to secondary school.

If you'd like to talk to someone about ways to build confidence or anything else that’s on your mind, you can always talk to a ChildLine counsellor.

Take care

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter