Inspired

Ask Jules: Teen Edition

Being a teenager can be really tough. The whole “not a girl but not yet a woman” thing — shout out to Britney! — really threw me for a loop. All of these exciting opportunities like dating, driving, and working come along but then you realize those things comes with a whole lot of uncharted territory. Then you throw in the things you can’t control: acne, anxiety, confidence… It can be terrifying!

These Ask Jules emails reminded me of when I was a teen, navigating the new world of flirting and nervousness. I hope my answers help more than just a few of you out! If you can relate to the letters below, show your support by sharing your advice and experiences in the comments.

Jules,

I got this problem, girl. I can’t talk to boys! I feel like I can’t flirt and really every time I do talk to them, I blush the whole time!

What’s a girl (who’s trying to get a boyfriend) to do in this situation? Needing Confidence 101 ASAP.

xo,
Macy

Macy,

First of all, your email is adorable! You are clearly very witty and funny. Two excellent qualities you should keep in mind when you’re talking to boys. For me, the trick to being able to talk to anyone is finding common ground. If there’s a particular guy you want to talk to, go into the conversation with something you can both talk about. As far as the shyness goes, I say it’s time to bring out your inner Sasha Fierce. Beyoncé has said when she goes on stage, her alter ego Sasha Fierce takes over. Sasha is fearless and explosive — a stark contrast to the self-described shy Beyoncé.

Next time you’re about to talk to a boy, imagine your alter ego has taken over. You’re no longer Macy who blushes and hides who she is. You are a girl who can confidently flirt with ease because she’s not afraid of anything! I bet eventually your alter ego will influence Macy and your shyness will be a thing of the past.

Let me know how that works!

xo 
Jules

Dear Julianne,

Hi! My name is Emma, and I have a problem. This is exactly why I’ve come to you! I absolutely hate acne! I had clear skin for all of my life and then in middle school (around 7th grade) I started getting acne. I know this happens quite often, but I wash my face twice every day, and have tried other washes, and special tricks like washing my sheets and pillowcases way more than usual. I just want clear skin! I have sensitive combination skin; it’s sometimes oily but after washing it’s super dry. The craziness is, I use Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser which is soap-free, oil-free, non-comedogenic, and hypoallergenic! It doesn’t hurt my face in the slightest, but I want the acne GONE! And, I’ve heard that if a cleanser leaves your skin dry, it’s too harsh for your skin. Is that true? I need help!!!

P.S. I love your blog and I truly appreciate that you took time out of your day to read this message :))

Emma,

Acne really is the worst! I feel for you. It sounds like you’re doing all the right things, too. You want to be careful when it comes to using too many active ingredients and switching up products too often. This can cause irritation and inflammation. Have you asked your parents about visiting a dermatologist? Many are covered by insurance. A derm doctor can prescribe products that are meant specifically for your skin type and offer treatments to get rid of acne once and for all. If that’s not an option, Proactiv really does work — and fast. I really believe in it!

This will soon be an issue of the past, I promise you. For some of us it just takes a little longer to find something that works. But once you do, you’re home free.

xo 
Jules

Hi Jules! 

Recently I’ve been getting nervous a lot and I can’t seem to calm myself down when I feel nervous. Whether it’s for an audition, performing, or having a meeting with someone, I just can’t seem to stop myself from feeling nervous and I usually mess things up because of the nerves. How do you deal with nervousness when you perform? And do you have any advice on how to relieve feeling nervous?

Thanks!

Bridget

Bridget,

I used to get very nervous when I was younger, so I understand what you’re going through. Of course I still get nervous in certain situations, but now I have ways to cope and calm myself down before it takes over. When you start to feel this way, ask yourself why. What are you afraid is going to happen? Chances are, it’s not a likely outcome and if it is possible, how bad would it really be?

In the past, I was pretty nervous before a performance. What if I miss a step? What if I fall? What if I elbow my partner in the face? Well, all of those things have happened. And you know what? It wasn’t the end of the world! You keep on moving with a smile on your face and a spring in your step. We’re all human, we’re going to slip up and that’s fine. Once you accept that everything will be okay even if it doesn’t go exactly as you’d hoped, your nerves should subside. There’s nothing you can’t conquer!

xo 
Jules

Photo credit: Suzie Bell

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  • Brittany

    Macy, I am in the same boat. I will be 19 next week and have never had a boyfriend. I am too shy and feel like they will judge me. I guess it’s a self confidence issue. I am overweight, don’t have the best hair, and am just awkward. I’ve learned to love myself and my friends and family that support me. A boy will come along eventually (I hope) and then everything will fall into place! I like Jules advice too! Be confident and while yes your alter ego can come out, always remember to be yourself.

    Bridget,
    I have been dancing for 14 years and every time I am about to step out on the stage, butterflies take over. I guess it’s because we’re afraid of messing up. But I usually think of how much I am enjoying myself and it helps. I also take 3 deep breaths and a few sips of water (especially if I am making a speech or presenting).

    Hope I helped! <3

    Much love,
    Britt

  • Jennifer Thompson

    Emma,

    I’ve battled acne for a long time now so I feel your frustration and desire for clear skin. A few things that have helped me is drinking a ton of water, eating a clean diet (staying away from sugars and processed foods) and eliminating dairy.. Like Jules said, a visit to the dermatologist would be so helpful if you could get in. In the meantime push your water intake and try to stay away from dairy as much as possible and see if that helps.

    Jennifer

  • Bridget,

    I use to be nervous like crazy when I had to perform in front of a group of people, even a simple book report was killing me. By doing it more and more it gets somewhat easier and you get less nervous. Nowadays I’m fine with performing in front of 100+ people!

    What I usually do if I feel really nervous; I meditate. Shutting down your mind of the stressful things and saying your special mantra and just relax every muscle in your body. After the meditation you will be enlightened and full with confidence!

    And exactly what Julianne said: We’re all human, we’re going to slip up and that’s fine.
    So what that you make a mistake, I’m sure that every other person sitting in that room probably make the exact same mistake before you!

    You can do this, girl!
    Xo

  • Cindy

    Thanks for the tips, Jules! I find them really helpful. I can totally relate to the last question and I feel nervous all the time when speaking in front of people. You’re right, even if you messed up, it’s not the end of the world, we have to learn to accept it as it is and move on.

    Emma, I know how you feel. I used to have really bad acne and I have sensitive skin just like you do. But after deciding to change my sleeping habit, my acne started to disappear. I think it’s important you sleep early and wake up early everyday. Staying up late at night only damages your skin. Even if you can’t go to bed early, then make sure that you get enough of sleep everyday.

  • Sydney Scotford

    So helpful!! Thanks!
    p.s.love your blog posts:)

  • Moni brown

    Hello beautiful Julianne! My name is Moni, and I need advice more than a piñata needs to be popped for candy! I struggle with my weight. Now this is something most young women feel ashamed about, but I am the opposite! I love my curves and am proud to have more to love;) Where I struggle is keeping a more healthy weight for my height and age. Do you have any advice for me to kickstart my path to a healthier and happier me?:) Ps: I Love you more than Damon loves Elena;) (you can tell Nina I said that;) Your so inspirational to me, and one day I hope to meet you and hug your sweet self! Love, Moni.

  • Agustina Castro

    Emma, Bridget, Macy! I FEEL ALL OF YOU THREE! First of all, I’m 16 and single, never had a boyfriend or kissed someone! When I talk to guys I also tend to blush a lot and I can’t speak my mind! Secondly, I have acne as well, but not just little spots…I mean serious acne! Besides, i have rosacea and it’s getting worse! I go to my dermatologist quite often and I do get some treatments! But well, I’m a teen and that’s quite common! Thirdly, I DO get really nervous every time I have to sit for an exam (for which I obviously study A LOT and I’m the first in my class) , even if it’s very simple I can’t control myself! Lack of confidence! BUT I HAVE GOOD NEWS: yesterday I had my first exam of the year and when I got up in the morning I got extremely nervous and I couldn’t even have breakfast! So I thought: why? Why do I have to be like this? Why can’t I just relax and be cool with it! I knew the answer but it was easier said than done! All I needed is within me now as the Hough say all the time ? I calmed down and thought for a while and then the nerves were off! I mean, I was a little bit tense but it wasn’t a disaster! ALL YOU NEED IS WITHIN YOU!!!!!!!! Good luck everyone ❤️❤️❤️ THANK YOU JULES FOR YOUR ADVICE!! I thought of writing to you about these kind of things but I was quite shy about it! Now, get ready anytime for my email with these kind of questions!! ??

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