DEAR ABBY: Everyone has heard about teen-age girls who think they're fat when they're not. I'm 13 years old and a little overweight, but I try not to think about it all the time. I know lots of girls who do, and many of them are slim, healthy and attractive. Parents and teachers try to tell girls that size doesn't matter, but most teens think it does.
Magazines, television and even our peers recognize only thin people as being beautiful, so how can you blame girls for wanting to be thin? I'd like to give some advice, especially to other teen-agers.
Girls, if you are with someone who is heavier than you or uncomfortable with her body, don't complain about your own. It will only make them feel worse. Believe me, I should know -- I have been hurt many times by behavior like this.
Guys, let a girl know she doesn't have to have a perfect body or look like a model for you to like her. One reason a lot of girls go on diets is so that guys will notice them.
Everyone: Compliment others. Make them feel loved, accepted and beautiful. Focus on people's good points, not their flaws. Not only will this make them feel good, it will make you glad to know you have made somebody's day a little brighter. -- BEEN HURT BEFORE IN MINNESOTA
DEAR HURT: Excellent advice! It is unfortunate that someone who is as thoughtful and caring as you has been hurt by the thoughtlessness of others. The insight you possess will take you far. I hope those around you conduct themselves by your example.