- Teen Advice Q & A
- by Wendy Stewart
I am 13 years old, the tallest
girl in my grade and a little overweight. I play basketball and
I am a cheerleader for 2 different teams and I have fun doing
that, but my mom and some kids are school make rude comments
about my weight. Should I listen to them and lose the weight?
How do I deal with being picked on?
First, let me say that just because
you are overweight now, doesn't mean you will always be that
way. You sound like you have plenty of activity to keep you busy
and that should be good enough for everyone else. And if it isn't,
too bad for them. If your health is in danger, I hope your family
doctor would let you and your mom know. I don't know how overweight
you are, it could only be 5 or 10 pounds. That being the case,
just keep doing what you're doing and let everyone else worry
about their own health.
The fact of the matter is that
your body is changing (like you didn't know that) and we all
change at a different rate. Because of that, we can't compare
ourselves to other people. It wouldn't be fair to ourselves and
we would always lose. There is always someone prettier, smarter,
or thinner. Comparisons will only make you feel worse, so don't
think you have to live up to someone else's unrealistic expectations
when you haven't even finished growing yet. It is more important
that you remain healthy and active and retain those habits as
you get older.
As far as your mom is concerned,
you may have the type of mom who would listen and respond positively
if you sat down and told her how her comments make you feel.
If you can do that with your mom, you'll want to use this type
of phrase "When you say _____, I feel ______." This
is much better than saying "You hurt my feelings" or
"You make me feel worthless." It is also much better
than saying how you feel if you are in the middle of an argument
and feel like you just want to shout it out. Resist that urge
so that you don't say something you'll regret. You may also want
to practice with a friend first so that you know what you want
to say to your mom.
If your mom is not that receptive,
you may want to find another adult you can voice your concerns
to face-to-face. It could be that this adult (such as another
relative) can give you insight into your mom's behavior and help
you understand why she acts that way. It doesn't excuse her actions
it just helps you understand better so that you can choose how
As for being the tallest girl
in your grade, honey, that's great. Do you remember that book
"Tales of a Fifth Grade Nothing?" by Judy Blume? Well,
I was a kind of a 6th grade nothing being all of 4 feet 11 inches
tall and weighing in at a whopping 90 pounds. If the wind blew
too hard, it would have knocked me down! I was so small people
didn't believe I was in 6th grade, let alone old enough to ride
the city bus by myself. I always wanted to be taller because
the grass is always greener on the other side. To this day I
still get made fun of (mostly by family) for being short, but
I don't mind so much because most of them are short too! You
won't always be the tallest person around, but being tall does
have its advantages. After all, who else is going to help short
people like me see over things and reach tall things on the shelf?
The most important thing I want
you to remember is that people will make fun of those who threaten
them in some way. Maybe you're better at sports then these other
students and maybe you have more confidence in you than your
mother has in her. There could be a number of reasons. But, regardless
of the reason, you must remember that no one can live your life
but you. Your choices. Your consequences. If your friends don't
get that, you can get new friends. If your mom doesn't get it,
give her time (mine eventually came around!).
If you need some extra inspiration,
check out the Lifetime TV Original Movie "Queen Sized"
starring "Hairspray" star Nikki Blonsky or the feature
film "Real Women Have Curves" starring "Ugly Betty"
star America Ferrera.
Take care of yourself and keep
your head held high!