January 11, 2017



Hi Nikki!

I’m REALLY self-conscious of wearing shorts! I can’t wear them in front of people because I’m scared they’ll talk about my fat legs. Even when I’m in PE class, I still don’t like to wear them. I’m fine with skinny jeans but shorts are just scary! This was really hard to write. Please, please, PLEASE help me!!

Shaky Shorts

Hi Shaky Shorts,

Okay. First of all, it was totally brave of you to write in about this. This column is completely anonymous and SO many other people feel the same way you do, so by asking this question, you’re going to help a bunch of other people, too. Some people feel this way about their legs, stomach or arms. Some people are self-conscious about zits, frizzy hair, or braces. EVERYONE has a thing that makes them feel like people are looking at them and judging them. (Even CCPs! It’s true!)

And sure, it’s easy to say, ‘Don’t worry about what other people think!’ But it’s a lot harder to actually do that. I understand that. But when it comes to clothes, I think the main thing is to wear clothes that make you feel confident and comfortable. So part of me thinks, if you don’t feel comfortable in shorts…don’t wear them! There are other options besides jeans on a hot day. You could wear skirts (longer ones, not short ones) or lightweight capris, for example.

But, the problem here isn’t really what to wear when it’s hot. The problem is your self-consciousness. If you’re uncomfortable in shorts, don’t wear them. Easy. But if you WANT to wear shorts and you don’t because you think people will talk about your legs, it’s different.

I totally get how easy it is to think people are always talking about you. I mean, I’m fourteen! That’s my life too! But the truth is…I’m usually so busy worrying about myself that I’m not using my energy to judge other people. ESPECIALLY people who haven’t done anything to deserve it.

Like, I might call MacKenzie names in my diary, but I think we can all agree she deserves it, right? But just a random girl at school who makes an odd fashion choice or has a bad hair day? I don’t even notice. Or if I do notice, it’s not a big deal. It’s like…huh, Marcy’s hair’s a little off today. And then I’m on to the next thought. (Usually it’s about Brandon.) I don’t spend the rest of the day locked in the janitor’s closet with Chloe and Zoey, gossiping about Marcy’s hair. If I DID, that would make me a terrible person, which would be worse than having bad hair.

Here’s another thing. I’m 100% sure you are your harshest critic. You think your legs are fat. But I’m guessing they’re totally normal. Try to see yourself the way you see your best friend. If she were the one complaining about her fat legs, what would you say to her?

And look, maybe you are overweight. I have no idea. That’s the beauty of an anonymous advice column! :) But even if your legs don’t look like some skinny CCP’s legs, there’s nothing wrong with that. Beauty standards are so weird. Did you know that a long time ago, being fat was considered beautiful and being skinny was ugly? It was because being fat meant you obviously had the wealth to be well-fed, unlike those skinny peasants.

But the thing that’s ALWAYS beautiful, in any time period or place? Confidence and kindness! You could be a super skinny drama queen and still lack self-confidence. And people would be more drawn to the friendly, chubby girl who feels good about herself.

So try to wear clothes that make you feel confident, treat yourself like you treat your friends, and most importantly, try to focus on the things you love about yourself, so you can project some self-confidence to the world.

And for crying out loud, don’t wear jeans when it’s hot outside! :)

Readers, is there something about yourself that you don’t like? What is it, and how do you deal with your insecurities?