DEAR ABBY: I'm in middle school. I have had a few boyfriends since I started here. I try my best to look OK each day, but I always find a flaw in the way I look or act. Sometimes I find it hard to trust guys when they tell me I'm pretty. I have low self-esteem, so it's hard for me to believe them. Can you please help me learn to trust people and be comfortable with my body? -- AWKWARD IN OGDEN, UTAH
DEAR AWKWARD: If it's any comfort, 99 percent of girls your age feel the same way you do. Your body is still a work in progress because you're not finished developing yet. Believe it or not, no one is as preoccupied with your looks and perceived "flaws" as you are, so please try to be a little kinder to yourself and less critical.
There is truth to the old saying, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." By that I mean -- if people tell you you're attractive, that is the way you appear to them. So just smile and say, "Thank you for saying that." Accept the compliment, but don't rely on it to gauge your self-worth. Concentrate on developing your personality and your mind, and you'll be on a path to success in everything you do.