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by Abigail Van Buren

Talk of Suicide Threatens Both Mom to Be and Baby

DEAR ABBY: I am a 22-year-old woman, fairly mature, intelligent and stable. I'm 5-foot-3 and wear a size 5 or 6.

I have this friend, "Tish," who is stunningly gorgeous. She looks like a model, stands about 5-foot-8 and wears a size 1 or 2. She dresses stylishly and has the figure to pull off many outfits that I never could. Tish is also a nice person who has never said anything to put me down. I feel no ill will toward her, just inferior when I'm around her.

I have had super-short hair most of my life, but have been growing it out for the past year to "reinvent" myself. When I saw Tish last week, she had donated her shoulder-length hair to Locks of Love and now sports an ultra-chic haircut that makes her look better than I ever did. I cried for almost an hour after she left.

I know my feelings are stupid and childish. Not only do I feel ugly externally next to Tish, but also internally ugly for being so hung-up on appearance when she hasn't done me any wrong. How can I get rid of these unwanted feelings? -- PALE IN COMPARISON

DEAR PALE: You say you feel inferior when you're around Tish. How do you feel when you're not around her? And why are you constantly comparing yourself to her?

It's important for your future that you figure out what's behind it, because unless you do, your feelings of inferiority will extend beyond this one individual. When you begin to like yourself more, you'll feel less "pale" when you're around others -- including your friend Tish.

Please discuss this with a licensed counselor, and if that's not possible right now, then it might be better for both of you to spend less time together.