DEAR KELLY: I'm in middle school and my best friend is so much prettier than I am.
Boys are always trying to text or talk to me so they can get to her. I don't think anyone even notices me.
She's really pretty and skinny, but she doesn't play sports or even get really good grades. I do both.
Guys still think she's so cool and pretty and interesting.
I thought a guy was talking to me finally a few weeks ago, and it turned out that he really wanted me to help him try and talk to my best friend.
When I told her he liked her, she just rolled her eyes and put her hand up like "not interested." It doesn't seem fair that she gets everyone to like her and I get no one. Most of the guys she doesn't even like, and she's only had, like, two boyfriends, so it isn't like she goes out with everyone who likes her.
She's really picky and I feel bad because I just want someone to like me.
Do I go find someone who isn't as pretty to be my best friend so I can get some attention? We've been best friends since second grade, so I don't want this to come between us, but I'm tired of always feeling so ugly.
She always tells me I'm pretty, but I know she's just saying that because she knows everyone likes her and not me.
I want to be her friend, but I also am tired of being known as just her friend and not as cute or anything like that.
– More Than Just
The Other Girl
DEAR OTHER GIRL: You're absolutely correct.
You are more than just "the other girl." You are athletic, smart, loyal and a good friend. And I'm sure the list could go on.
Stop comparing yourself to her (and everyone else!) and start seeing the things that make you special.
I don't think you need to find another best friend. It's really not about her at all. It's about you loving and accepting yourself instead of knocking yourself down for not getting as much attention as your friend. It's about trusting the process that life is a roller coaster and sometimes we are up and other times we feel down.
I'm sure you have heard this before, but outer beauty is not nearly as important as inner beauty. Granted, in middle school a lot can feel based on outer beauty and people seem to fall short sometimes of seeing the beauty from within.
Most middle-schoolers feel judged by looks first and things like kindness, intelligence and a positive attitude seem to be overlooked or overshadowed.
As you mature, people start to see other things besides just outside appearances. People grow and people change. Many people who were not considered cute or pretty in middle school turn out to be striking and stunning young adults.
Having good looks can only take you so far. It may be what gets someone interested, but having a great personality is what keeps them around. Things like confidence, grace and the ability to hold your own with other people are more attractive than a pretty face or a skinny body.
If your inner beauty does not match your outer beauty, people will not stay interested or attracted.
Why do you need a boyfriend so badly? Why not seek guys who can be your good friends?
Why not focus on getting new boys as friends with whom you can get to know and develop a friendship. Having a boyfriend will not make you feel better about yourself – only you can do that.
Side note: Be careful of the message you might be sending to guys. Are you doing the same thing to other guys that you feel is being done to you? Are you talking to all different kinds of guys or just the ones you think are cute? Are you only chasing the guys who like your friend or are your eyes open to all kinds of different guys who are nice and have good personalities?
You are pretty for the person you are now and the woman you will become. You are pretty because you are beautiful to those who matter: your family and your friends. Tell yourself this over and over until you finally start to believe it. Once you feel pretty, the rest of the world will follow.
Love yourself. Love who you are. Love your gifts and love your flaws. We all have them. Love the person you are now and the person you will become. Taylor Swift once said, "Happiness and confidence are the prettiest things you can wear."
Write to Kelly Richardson at Teen Talk, The Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15880, Sacramento, CA 95852, or email krichardson @sacbee.com.