Dear American Girl,
I just started a new dance class. On the first day, a girl made fun of my height. I'm already self-conscious about towering over girls my age, and her words hurt my feelings. Now when I go to class, I feel so awkward and ungraceful. How can I have more confidence in myself and in my dancing?
Here's your advice:
Avoid this girl if you can and hang out with the nice girls in the class. Surround yourself with girls who build you up instead of tearing you down.
-An American Girl fan, age 11, Colorado
The next time this girl makes fun of you, say, "Thanks, but I like being tall," and walk away with your head held high.
-Elise, age 10, Wisconsin
Instead of dwelling on this girl's mean comments, put your energy into practicing your dance moves. Spending too much time thinking about this girl will take away from your ability to try your best.
-An American Girl fan, age 9, Ohio
Just relax and dance in spite of the teasing. Stop yourself from saying anything mean to the girl. Be the bigger person. Then talk to a parent or your dance teacher about how you feel. She or he might make you feel better.
-Cassova, age 11, California
When you go to your dance class, remember that you are there to enjoy the class and learn new things, not to be distracted by people around you. Focus on the true reason you're there.
-Jade, age 12, Illinois
I dance, too, and being tall is actually an advantage for a dancer. Your height can help you perform better leaps and make your lines look longer. Just do your best—that's all that matters.
-An American Girl fan, age 13, Alabama
When you feel uncomfortable in your dance class, just ignore this girl. Pretend she's not there, and dance your heart out.
-Kylie, age 10, Pennsylvania
Make a list of good things about being tall. And think about your positive qualities, such as your kindness to your friends or your talent for figuring out math problems. Try to banish the negative feelings about yourself.
-Isabel, age 8, Michigan
We all have our unique differences, so why not celebrate your height? Stand tall and be proud of who you are.
-An American Girl fan, age 10, Wisconsin
As you're dancing, think of a phrase you can repeat to yourself, such as I am a graceful dancer, or Dancing makes me happy.
-Tina, age 13, Texas
Every time a mean comments from this girl creeps into your thoughts, replace it with a compliment you've received.
-Olivia, age 11, New York
Forget about this girl. Nothing should get in the way of your new passion. It's great that you've started a dance class. Try to forget about everyone else and enjoy your dance class.
-Bianca, age 12, Canada
If this girl teases you again, shrug your shoulders, say, "Well, we can't all be the same," and walk away. Remember, your height makes you different and special.
-Abby, age 10, Maryland
Write down some of the comments this girl has made on a piece of paper. Then tear it up into little pieces and throw it away. This might help you move on from the teasing.
-Sarah, age 12, Illinois
You're not taking this dance class for these girls. Dance to express yourself, not to impress anyone.
-Hailey, age 9, California
There's a good chance that this girl is making fun of you because she feels insecure herself. The next time she teases you, just brush it off and think to yourself, She's the one with the problem, not me. You're great just the way you are, and if you focus on that instead of her mean words, you'll get the boost of confidence you're looking for.
-Claudia, age 12, New York