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readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Monday, March 2, 2009

March: What are you self-conscious about?

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

Jenna is self-conscious about what she says and does around her friends, wanting to fit in so badly. Is there something you are self-conscious about around your friends? Was there ever and now you are over it? Any tips on getting past it?

Get the dialogue going, rgz!

~the rgz divas


17 comments:

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Oh, my. Depending on the day:

height, hair, belief system, politics

The things that tend to be different from others in the room. How do I get past it? Remind myself these things aren't changing, and they actually help define who I am. And that's okay!

MaryP said...

When I was a teen, it was definitely zits. They always came at the worst time--the big whoppers that is. The little ones everyone had so it wasn't that bad.

These days, I am not so self-conscious. I can joke about my bulges, wrinkles, hot flashes, and bumbles with the best of them. There are some advantages to getting older (there have to be, right?!)

There was a time I was self-conscious about bad reviews--I remember one in particular I was so embarrassed about--but I think I have found a way to put those in perspective too (they're wrong! ; )

Little Willow said...

I honestly don't know. I'm self-aware, but I am who I am no matter where I am or who is watching me. I'm comfortable in my own skin. I like being short. I like the color of my hair. I use big words. I know that I'm loud. I'm me.

lanna-lovely said...

I think maybe I have a weird thing to be self-concious about -- I don't like to show my pain. I almost never cry in front of people, if I'm sad or have a problem or anything then I deal with it alone... I kept that whole side of me from my friends (and everyone else) for so long.

I don't know why, partly cause I'm scared to trust people and I don't like to burden them with my problems but I think a big part of it is I'm scared of how they'll judge me. I'm the "giggly one", the one who can make people laugh, the quiet one, the shy one... but I keep my pain a secret and I'm self concious of it because I don't want to be labelled as something like, "the depressed one", I don't want pity.

Another thing I used to be self concious about was my hair colour -- I have a weird hair colour, it's like darker than ginger (unless I'm in the sun) but too red to be brown (auburn?), so of course I got all the ginger-related teasing nicknames from some people (not my friends though, of course, they didn't tease me but it made me self concious being around them with their brown/blonde/black hair). For some reason I never dyed it though, I think maybe it'd be because it'd show them that it bothered me.

For the first one, I'm still not totally past that -- I don't think I'll ever be, but I did make some progress there, I just told my two best friends everything that I'd bottled up over the years (this was just before Christmas 08, so quite recent)... and I'm so glad I did, they didn't judge me, and we just talked, and now I can talk to them about pretty much anything.

For the second one, well, I'm so glad I didn't dye my hair now because I love my hair colour -- I realised, when I got older, that the people that would make fun of someone because of their hair colour are pretty stupid and I like that my hair colour isn't the same as everyone elses and I didn't have to dye it to be different. If I had dyed it before, it would've been to try and be the same... but where's the fun in that?

Sorry, I'm totally rambling. :]

Marie Hansen said...

I am self-conscious about pretty much everything. Especially spelling. I think I have undiagnosed dyslexia because I can never spell a word right no matter how many times I write it and often get confused the order of letters (AND I am a librarian and read constantly). Although I am self conscious about everything from the way I look to the way I act, I never really tried to “fit in” which I think is a good thing.
Btw…I can’t wait to start reading this month’s book!

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Don't worry. We love rambles! :~)

Way to handle the reviews, Mary! (Psst. Everyone, MaryP is our featured author, Mary E. Pearson!)

Shelf Elf said...

When I was younger, I was self-conscious about the things that I liked (classical music, books, baking). I was even more self-conscious about the things that I wasn't into (popular music, parties, not showing your intelligence). Now that I am older and happier in myself, I just like what I like and I'm not shy about it. I'm a bit self conscious when someone gives me a compliment. I'm still practicing just saying thank you and not getting all bashful.

Melissa Walker said...

Let's see, I'm self conscious about tons of things: my hair, my big feet, my muffin top in certain pants, the bump in my nose. Those are all physical, but they do stand out to me the most. Which is just plain silly, but there it is.

lanna-lovely said...

I don't think it's silly to be self concious about physical appearance, Melissa. I mean, if you think about it... we can hide other things we're self concious about, but the way we look isn't something we can hide so well. I think everyone is self concious has felt self concious about the way they look at some point --although for some people it's worse than others--, like I've seen absolutely beautiful people put themselves down and I honestly can't figure out what they must be seeing in the mirror, because if they saw what I, or other people, saw when we look at them then they wouldn't feel self-concious at all.

I think it's kind of sad in a way, because we can't choose the way we look -- I mean sure, we can dress up in fancy clothes, hide behind make-up or in extreme cases even get plastic surgery but why should people feel self concious about how they look when it's a part of who they are, it's in their DNA, something that was decided before we were even born... =/

Annnd I'm rambling again, woops -- anyway, hello MaryP! :]

Justina said...

I'm loving all of these answers, everyone! Especially the rambles as I tend to be a rambler myself. Just ask the divas!

I am hyper self-conscious and have been known to keep myself awake, berating myself for things I've said or done during the day.

Ohhhh...my voice (hate listening to it on interviews). the diminishing elasticity of my skin everywhere. my knobby feet.

And Mary, I hear you on the reviews. No matter how many nice ones you get, it's the zingers in the bad ones that burrow into memory. I know that well.

Dia Calhoun said...

When I was a teen I was intensely self-conscious. Not as much now.
I think self-consciousness comes from being hypercritical of yourself.

Lorie Ann Grover said...

I love the transparency in these comments, ladies. Do you find talking about the self conscious bits actually helps conquer them? I DO!

Shelf Elf said...

I completely agree Lorie Ann, that talking about the things you're self-conscious about sort of makes them dissolve (or at least seem like not such a big deal). A bit like, "How come I actually worry about that?"

Erin said...

Physical appearance, mostly. Also, my acting. Like I can't stand watching myself on camera in a film--!

Although I've noticed my self-conciousness goes WAY down when I'm around people who build me up and make me feel loved and beautiful and confident.

Dia Calhoun said...

Yes, Miss Erin, I, too, find it easier to be myself around people I know support me. Self-consciousness comes with a lack of confidence, and we are all more confident around people who support us.

Silvia said...

Yeah I'm self-concios of about things about me but when I am with my friends or family I think I forget them because they make me feel like I am who I am and they love mme this way**

Alex said...

I've been called a nerd before which I guess I've earned. Before I use to hate it but as I've gotten older I've learned to appreciate my nerdiness. I know that those people who do it are insecure and that they are probably jealous.

When I'm around people I'm comfortable with, I'm not self conscious at all. I tend to rely on those people very much and they always make me feel good about myself and everything around me.