Q Dear Miss Abigail:
I am seventeen and a girl. Unfortunately for me, so is my extremely pretty best friend. I’m a cute girl, but nowhere near Jen. All the guys fawn over her and I can’t help but feel inferior to her good looks. I know that I should flaunt what I have, but when next to her… what I have isn’t very much. How can I learn to like myself when I’m with (and without) her (and not make her wear a bag on her head everywhere we go)?
The Not-So Ugly Duckling
A Dear Not-So:
Author Kay Thomas says in the foreword to her book Secrets of Loveliness, that “not every girl can be beautiful. Beauty is a quality that a special few are born with. But loveliness, the aim of all women through the ages, can be acquired. The secrets of loveliness can be learned.” Remember the following when you think about that bag and your friend’s pretty little head.
1964: Be Yourself
Even though you’re trying to grow and develop and change (for the better!) always try to be yourself. Does this sound contradictory? It’s not, really. It just means: Don’t try to pretend you’re someone you’re not or haven’t yet become. It just means: Don’t pretend you’re rich if you’re poor, or sophisticated if you’re inexperienced, or dub if you’re smart ~ as some girls do in the mistaken idea that this kind of play-acting is a good way to gain friends or get dates. (Next time you hear that boys don’t like girls with brains, take a look at the girl who’s saying so. Is she by chance bright and unpopular, and looking for an excuse for her lack of dates?)
This kind of fake behavior creates a strain that gets in the way of the very friendship you’re trying to promote.
So be yourself. However, this doesn’t mean standing still. It does mean that instead of pretending to have someone else’s qualities, you could stretch some of your own. Instead of trying to act sophisticated, which you’re not, act more considerate, which you can be. In other words, be your best self.
Source: Thomas, Kay. Secrets of Loveliness. New York: Scholastic Book Services, 1969.
~ p. 13 ~