Dear American Girl,

I was in a bike accident a couple of months ago and had to get stitches on my arm, and now I have a big scar. I'm really self-conscious about it, and I feel embarrassed whenever anyone asks about it. How can I feel better about my scar?
-Uncomfortable

Here's your advice:

My friend has a scar on her arm, too, and it looks a little like a caterpillar. Whenever someone asks her about it, she says, "It's my pet caterpillar!" She is willing to joke around about it, and I admire that. See if you can find a way to laugh about yours. If you act as if your scar is no big deal, other people probably won't think it's a big deal either.
-Allison, age 13, Kansas

Don't hide your scar. It's not something to feel ashamed about. If you try to hide it, it might become more obvious than just letting it show. If you forget about your scar and don't glance at it in front of people, they'll probably forget about it, too.
-Madi, age 11, Georgia

Your scar may not be as noticeable as you think. Don't say to your friends, "I'm so embarrassed about this huge scar!" or ask, "Is this noticeable?" That'll just draw more attention to it.
-Maria, age 12, Texas

Remember, when people ask about your scar, they probably aren't trying to make you feel uncomfortable. More likely, they're just concerned and thinking about you.
-Ingrid, age 9, Ohio

Remember that you are beautiful and that your friends and family love just as much, with or without a scar.
-An American Girl fan, age 11, Maryland

I have a scar above my eye. I used to worry that people would notice it all the time, but now that I've gotten used to it, I actually don't want it to go away. It's a part of who I am.
-Anna, age 8, Texas

Here's what I think about scars: sometimes they show that you're a person who doesn't just sit around—you're out living your life. So when people ask about your scar, you should be proud that you were riding your bike and doing something you enjoy.
-Olivia, age 12, New York

When people ask you about your scar, simply say, "This scar reminds me of all the wonderful (and not-so-wonderful) times I've ridden my bike." It'll lighten the mood. Your scar makes you unique, and that's a good thing.
-Emily, age 13, Delaware

A lot of people have scars, so it's OK that you have one. If someone asks you what happened, keep it simple and just say, "Oh, I got in a little accident," and change the subject. If the person pushes you to talk about your scar, kindly say that you'd rather not talk about it.
-Madison, age 11, Texas

Don't worry—your scar is part of what makes you you. If people ask about it, think of it as an opportunity to share a time when you were brave. They'll probably admire you for it.
-Ariana, age 10, Arizona

Your scar represents a part of your story, so try to embrace it. Be proud of yourself for being strong and enduring a scary event in your life. If anything, you can see your scar as a reminder to be careful in the future.
-Hannah, age 9, Arkansas

You could always take the goofy approach with your response about your scar. You could say, "I got this when I was fighting an angry unicorn!" or "Someone thought I smelled like bacon and tried to nibble me."
-Emily, age 11, Georgia

Think of your scar as your badge of courage. I was in and out of hospitals and emergency rooms several times this summer, so I kept my hospital bracelets to remind me how brave I had to be. I didn't feel very good, but I was able to get through it, just like you. Now you can be proud of your emblem of bravery!
-Brooke, age 12, Texas

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