Dear Atoosa: I have a big nose, and people make fun of me. They call me Nosey Posey, Woodpecker, Smeller. It sucks! Do you have any ideas about how to get them to stop? — Casey, 13, East Brunswick, N.J.
If I had a dime for every famous model who was made fun of at your age for having big lips or being too tall and skinny, I'd be a rich, rich lady. I know that doesn't help you, and it's not like you want to be a model, but it's still interesting food for thought. My point? One thing that I've noticed time and time again in junior high and high schools is that there is traditionally a very limited perception of what's beautiful. In any particular town, whatever ethnicity or general look that most people in the community have is what is most accepted.
So if you fall outside of that (especially if you're a different ethnicity or race from everyone else), you are sometimes made to feel ugly or like a freak. But you know what happens once you get to college (in other words, closer to the real world)? You'll see the millions of different versions of beautiful that really exist. That's what happened to me. In my high school, I was also made fun of for my looks (everything from my hair to my thick eyebrows and my strong nose— ahem, notice how I called it "strong" instead of "big," darlin'? You need to start doing the same). But I'll always remember when I went away to college. Suddenly, all those things that made me stick out in a "bad" way, according to the nasty guys at school, made me different and special in a "good" way in college.
Corny or not, this is the truth. What makes you different is where the power of your beauty lies. Don't let some closed-minded people who don't know any better convince you otherwise. If my life experience counts for anything, let it count for this. Know that your strong nose is exactly what makes you beautiful. And those kids' bad attitudes? That is what makes them ugly. Lucky for them, they have the rest of their lives to work on their behavior. You? Just worship that nose — I love that you're already getting attention for it. Sort of like Angelina Jolie and those big lips — gorgeous!
Questions may be sent directly to Atoosa Rubenstein at: firstname.lastname@example.org; © King Features Syndicate