Slideshow Pictures: Teen Girls - Mean Girls, Cyberbullying, Dating, Periods & More
Reviewed by Kathy Empen, MD on Monday, November 21, 2011
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She's pretty, popular, and totally vicious. To claw her way to the top, she'll take down anyone, including you. Her weapons of choice? Rumors, name calling, and general nastiness.
What to do: Don't get even, get help. Bullying can harm your emotional health. Talk to a principal or parent. Surround yourself with real friends. And never let a putdown harm your self-image.
Suddenly all the guys at school are staring, and not at your face. Every girl gets breasts, just not at the same time or in the same size. Developing early makes you the center of attention.
What to do: You need support, and a well-fitted bra is the place to get it. Avoid tight shirts and tank tops. A wrap or button-down shields you from prying eyes.
Someone's posted the name of the guy you like on your Facebook page, along with a list of all the things you've supposedly done with him. Half of your school has probably seen it. You're humiliated.
What to do: Narrow your online social circle. Limit your Facebook page to trusted friends only. Change your privacy setting so only they can see or post on your page. If kids from school are harassing you online, block them and tell your parents and principal.
Too Terrified to Talk
Your teacher just asked a question, and she's scanning the room for an answer. Your heart is beating like crazy. You want to sink down in your seat and hide.
What to do: A lot of people are afraid to talk in public. Before your fear affects your grades, get help. School speech teachers and groups like Toastmasters teach public speaking. Or talk about your fears with a therapist who can help you work through them.
I Hate My Nose!
It's big or it's bumpy, and you feel like people are always staring at the center of your face. You hate your nose. You want a nose job.
What to do: Surgery can change your nose, but it has risks. Even after surgery your nose can change shape over time. Darker foundation on each side may help it look smaller. But instead of trying to redo your face, why not learn to love the nose you've got? It probably fits you better than you think!
Cheerleaders, jocks, Goths, artsy kids. Everyone at your school is in some kind of clique except you. You're stuck on the outside.
What to do: Who needs cliques? Make your own group of friends who are into the same things as you. Real friends won't shut you out because you're not popular enough or you don't wear the right clothes. They'll want to hang out with you just for who you are.
Cyber Romance Realities
You've been chatting with this guy online. He seems nice, and he's really into you. Now he wants to meet in person. Should you go?
What to do: It's OK to have cyberfriends, just keep them in cyberspace. Never give out personal information (like your address, phone number, or real name) or agree to meet anyone face to face.
Not That Into Him
Your boyfriend said the "L" word, but you're not feeling it. He's a great guy --you're just not that into him. How do you break up without breaking his heart?
What to do: Breaking up is always hard. So let him down easy and with the same courtesy you'd want if the feelings were reversed. And do it face-to-face. Texting or emailing a breakup is definitely NOT cool.
You're walking to class when your friend whispers there's a bright red streak down the back of your pants. You've gotten your period in the middle of school! Your face is as red as that stain on your pants.
What to do: Untuck your shirt or tie a jacket around your waist to hide the stain and head for the nurse's office. From now on, stock your locker with an extra pair of pants and some pads or tampons in case your period sneaks up on you again.
You've just finished talking to the cutest guy in your class when your best friend informs you that your breath stinks!
What to do: If your mouth often smells funky, you might not be brushing and flossing well enough. Or it could be the onions or garlic at lunch. Brush twice a day, including your tongue. Try mints or sugarless gum. Test by licking the back of your hand and taking a whiff after it dries. If nothing helps, see your doctor or dentist.
You're in high school, yet your parents still act like you're 3 years old. They always remind you to "zip your jacket!" and "drink your milk!" right in front of your friends.
What to do: If you want your parents to treat you more like an adult, act like one. Show them how responsible you are by helping out around the house, keeping up with your grades, and maybe even getting a part-time job.
Your friends are going out, but all you want to do is curl up in bed and sleep. You're always in a bad mood. Nothing makes you happy -- not school, not sports, not even your friends.
What to do: If you've been sad for two weeks or more, you could be depressed. Ask your parents to take you to a therapist, who can help sort out what's going on. Talking about your feelings could help you feel a lot better.
Every day at lunch your friend pigs out. Then she runs to the bathroom to throw up. You tell her you're worried, but she brushes you off.
What to do: It sounds like an eating disorder. If she keeps throwing up, she could do real damage to her body. Since she won't listen to you, talk to another adult -- a parent, teacher, or school counselor -- who can get her the help she needs.
Your belly peeking over the top of your low-rise jeans is enough to start the teasing. You're not fat, but your muffin top is the first thing everyone notices.
What to do: First, try a reality check. Our culture promotes an abnormal thinness for women. And some girls internalize this distorted body image, just as the hip area fills out due to normal development. Is that you? Your friends? If your weight is truly out of line, your doctor can recommend a safe weight loss plan. Looser clothing, more flattering jeans, and cute cardigans can take eyes off your mid-section.
Over His Limit
Every time you go out with your boyfriend he gets drunk and acts stupid. He even drives after drinking. You're afraid he's going to hurt himself or you, but if you say anything, he might break up with you.
What to do: Your boyfriend could have an alcohol problem. To get him help, talk to a guidance counselor or call Alateen. Definitely don't let him drink and drive. If he does drive drunk, call the police and find another ride home for yourself.
You're Caught Bullying
You've been giving a girl at school a hard time. Now she's told the principal. What's the big deal? You were just teasing her.
What to do: You don't have to hit someone to be a bully. Teasing and starting nasty rumors are also kinds of bullying. The next time you're tempted to torment this girl, think about how you'd feel if somebody treated you the same way. Talk to a counselor and get help so you don't bully anyone again.
The big dance is just days away and no one's asked you yet. All your friends have dates. You feel like such a loser!
What to do: Why wait for a guy to ask you? Ask him. Pick someone you've had a crush on for a while, or just ask a good friend. Who says you even need a date? Go solo or with a group of friends and you'll still have a great time.
Your friends have the coolest clothes. They wear all the latest designers, while you're stuck in cheap bargain knock-offs. You wish you were rich like them.
What to do: Get the look by getting creative. Buy designer clothes for less at the end of the season. Shop the gently-used stores for teens, which are popping up everywhere, including online. Or put together your own look with cool, economical, vintage clothing.
Your friend is dating a really cute guy. One day, you're alone with her boyfriend. Suddenly, the two of you start kissing. Should you tell your friend?
What to do: It's normal to be attracted to your friend's boyfriend, especially if the three of you hang out a lot. It's not OK to steal her guy, though, especially if you still want to be friends. Come clean with her and promise it won't ever happen again.
You sent a sexy text message to your boyfriend, and he showed it to all his friends. Now the whole school is talking about you.
What to do: "Sexting" with words or pictures might seem like a fun way to get your guy's attention. Maybe he's pressuring you to show your affection. Unfortunately, when you hit "send," you lose control. Even someone you trust might share your messages. So don't send anything you wouldn't want everyone to see. And if a digital slip has led to bullying, talk to your parents or principal right away.
Your parents expect you to do it all: get straight A's, make the varsity team, play an instrument, have a part-time job. You're drowning in their expectations.
What to do: If you often feel stressed or anxious, you're taking on too much. Tell your parents you need a break. Make sure you have enough time to sleep, eat, and hang out with your friends. When the pressure's on, take stress-relief breaks. Do yoga, meditate, jog, or just chill out in your room.
Your sister is the beautiful, smart, athletic one. Everyone adores her, especially your parents. You practically stand on your head to get their attention, but they never seem to notice you.
What to do: Your parents might have no idea they're treating your sister any differently than you. Tell them honestly that you're tired of living in her shadow. If they still don't get it, ask for advice from another adult, like a relative or school counselor.
Whenever you go shopping with your best friend, she steals something. Shirts, CDs, necklaces -- she stuffs them into her bag. She says stores don't even notice.
What to do: Your friend might think it's fun to take risks, but if she gets caught, she could get arrested. If you're with her, you could get into big trouble, too. Tell your friend you think it's wrong to steal. If she won't stop, find another shopping pal.
All your friends are starting to fill out, but you're still flat as a board. The boys tease that you look more like them than like a girl.
What to do: Every girl develops differently. Some get busty early in puberty, while others take longer to fill out their bra. No matter what size you are, learn to love what's special about you. If you're worried that you're not developing right, talk to your mom or doctor.
Driving You Crazy!
You finally got your license, but your parents make it impossible for you to drive. With an early curfew and a million different rules to follow, you're afraid you'll never get behind the wheel.
What to do: It might not seem fair, but your parents are being strict to keep you safe. More teens die in car accidents than from any other cause. Follow your parents' rules and you'll have your whole life ahead of you to drive.
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