Dear Mesmerizing Meg: I’m a thirteen-year-old female. I know I’m still so young and I “shouldn’t care about looks” or “it’s about personality” etc, but EVERYONE else at my school is just so much prettier than I am. And I just feel so bad whenever people see me, and they see how ugly and unattractive I am. The other reason I don’t listen to “looks don’t matter” is because of how judgmental people are. I feel so insecure and lonely at school because I’m the odd one out. The ugly one. Again, I know I’m only young but everyone has a boyfriend/girlfriend in my year and I literally do not know the point of living if I’m not even pretty. I can’t help stop comparing myself to the other girls. I’m not trying to get attention or praise, and I don’t want people saying, “you’re pretty too,” because you’ve never seen me. Everytime I see myself, I feel disgusted. I hate myself so much. And it especially sucks when I’m in a good mood and then I look in a mirror and remember how bad I look. I’m insecure about everything about myself, it’s not just one bad flaw about me, it’s my whole face and body. Nobody actually cares and really I don’t know the point of writing this. I guess it kind of gets it off my chest. (I’ve even had suicidal thoughts about this, no one will really care because I’d be remembered as “that ugly [bleep] anyway.)
Kind querent: Oh my. I have three thoughts for you. The first is that you’re at your ugliest at the age of thirteen. It’s total ugly-duckling territory. You should’ve seen what a dog I was in seventh and eighth grades. I’m not kidding. Ninth grade wasn’t much better. Then, in tenth grade, I suddenly had a gorgeous school photo taken. It was amazing! I must have washed my hair for the photo that year. Anyway, yes, it seems frustrating that the other kids are going through the difficult teenage transition while still looking lovely, and it’s not fair, but please believe me that you might be pretty yet.
My second thought is that you should discuss this with your mom, and ask her if she can take you to get your hair radically redone. You ought to consult a beauty stylist and find out what color of hair would complement your coloring. This is huge: I’m a natural brunette, but I look butt-ugly with brown hair. Every time I bleach my hair, I feel so much prettier because it just works with my skin tone and coloring! Also, if your mom can throw in manis and pedis, some new clothes, and a spa day, then she can be my new hero.
My third thought is that if you don’t like your body, maybe you could take up a sport and get more muscular? Have you considered swimming?
Also, your personality really does come through your appearance. Some of my favorite comediennes aren’t all that pretty. Instead, they’re funny looking! Rachel Dratch, pictured below, is who I hope will play me in the movie about my life! (Assuming Drew Barrymore’s unavailable.)