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by Abigail Van Buren

Tween Girl Is Feeling Down About Growing Up

DEAR ABBY: I'm 11 and in the sixth grade. I am very self-conscious. Every girl in my grade has a bigger chest than me, and I am feeling insecure because mine isn't developed.

I know I am young, but I want to fit in. Every day I feel horrible about myself. Can you help? -- INSECURE 6TH GRADER

DEAR INSECURE: I'll try. No two people are alike, and our bodies do not develop at the same time. For some girls, it happens sooner and they begin to develop breasts as early as age 9. For others, it doesn't happen until they are in their teens.

Your value should not be measured by your chest size. Believe me, the size of your IQ is far more important. The kind of person you are is more important.

Big chests have a way of falling sooner or later. So work on your grades and your personality right now. If you do, in time you'll not only catch up to these girls, you will surpass them in the qualities that matter most. You're fine just the way you are.

Read more in: Health & Safety | Mental Health