I’m not sure most of you know this, but I’m supposed to be writing about teen issues.

Well, as you probably have noticed, I tend to write about whatever I want to. This month, however, I’ve decided to be a good little girl and stick to my theme; so as I chowed down on a plate filled with enough crepes to feed an army, I racked my brain trying to come up with issues teenagers of this day and age struggle with. Mid-bite I was struck with genius!

I had just come up with the perfect idea that described the true beauty of life and wrapped up the trials in one sweet little cocoon of brilliance. All I had to do was set finger to keyboard! I was convinced that wisdom and wonder would pour forth and that each and every one of you would be blessed by the words you would read. But then I remembered that I’ve already written about food.

 Multiple times. 

So I put my thinking cap back on and continued chewing.

Another topic didn’t come to mind until after I’d eaten most of the crepes and began to worry about the immense amount of food I had just introduced my body to. With that thought, I decided to write about one of a teenager’s, and actually everybody’s, biggest struggles: self-image. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stood in front of the mirror and wished I was a little taller, wished I was a little smaller here and bigger there, wished I had a third arm. I mean, how awesome would it be to have three arms?! Sure, it’d be a little difficult to find clothes that fit right, but can you imagine how much better at multi-tasking I’d be?! 

In all seriousness, though, finding someone who feels completely happy in her skin is extremely rare.

There’s so much pressure to look good. Girls are supposed to have perfect hair, flawless skin, and waists that can beat a piece of pencil lead in a Guess Who’s the Thinnest contest. 

Well let me tell you, it’s just not going to happen. 

Boys are expected to be tall, have a six-pack, and be able to easily run into a burning building of the Guess Who’s the Thinnest contest and use only his left arm to carry every single person and piece of pencil lead to safety.

Well let me tell you, it’s just not going to happen; at least two arms would be needed to perform that feat of strength.

I wish I could tell you the magic formula to feeling good about how you look, but in truth, there isn’t one. Confidence in who you are and how you’re built can only come from yourself.

I wish I could tell you that I feel absolutely gorgeous every time I look in the mirror, and you all should too! But I can’t, because I know it’s not going to happen. 

What I can tell you, however, is that no one looks like you. No has the same features you consider to be your beautiful attributes!

And, chances are, the things that you consider to be your “flaws” are the same things someone else is looking at and wishing they had. 

As I said before, I can’t tell you to look in the mirror and never find any faults with yourself again. But I can ask you to try. 

I can ask you to never think badly about how you look, because I guarantee someone else is wishing she looked like you. 

I can ask you to never regret how you’re built, because no one else on the planet has exactly the same build as you! Each and every one of you is absolutely drop-dead-fabulous.

And there you have it, my thoughts on teen issues.

Miriam A. Thurber is a senior at Unatego Central School. ‘Teen

Talk’ columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/teentalk.

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