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.
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.
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!
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 :))
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.
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?
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!
Photo credit: Suzie Bell