by Louise Palanker
I host a safe and friendly teen social network, ios app called Our Place. Each week, thousands of questions pour into the community. Kids share with one another and I personally respond to about 20 questions per day in a teen advice column called Ask Weezy. What are today’s kids thinking about? Here are this week’s top five questions.
Our Place Post: I am a muslim and started wearing a hijab ( scarf ) only a few months ago and it made me feel better about myself. On the bus for the past few months, people started talking about MY RACE and how we are ugly and my RELIGION… how we would bomb something down if we aren’t happy. I always cry in my seat and try to draw no attention to myself . Now I really want to rip my scarf off of my head and never wear it again!
You are being subjected to prejudice and hate speech. This is race bullying. You can report it to your school principal, speak to your parents about it or you can handle it yourself. It will help if you have backup. A friend who is in your corner.
This will take a lot of courage, but it can be done with a little bit of practice. You turn to these bullies and you say, “Muslims believe in peace. Extremists and terrorists come in every religion, shape and color. I am not one. What is sad here is that YOU are behaving more like terrorists than am I. Please respect me here on this bus and I will respect you.”
You can make that speech your own. These kids are ignorant. You can try to take them on or you can report the behavior. You DO NOT deserve to be treated this way. A little bit of understanding goes a long way. Teach them some of it.
I have a friend I like and she’s always in a relationship. Every time she breaks up she goes straight on to the next one. It just keeps repeating and she just gets hurt in the end. Is there anything I can do to help her?
You can tell her that when we repeat an unhealthy pattern this means that we need to stop and do some work on ourselves.
Unless she changes, the boys she chooses won’t change either. Nor will they ever fix the problem. Tell her how much you care about her and that you want her to be happy. And then you just have to remember that you can not walk her path for her. She has to do that.
How do I find my own personal fashion style?
Don’t feel a pressing need to find one. The most important aspect of choosing “a style” is selecting clothes that make you feel like you. Clothes in which you feel comfortable.
If you buy something just because someone else told you it was cool or cute, it will sit in your closet and every time you look at it, something in you will reject it.
You can shop with your mom or with a friend and ask them for their opinions. But you must also feel good about the clothes. Finding your look is a process and you do not have to pick one specific look. One day may be a jeans and sneakers day. The next may be a little vintage/a little sassy.
There are no rules when it comes to fashion, because every year, the rules change. Why not be the one who changes them?
How do I prepare for periods at school? I know its still summer but I NEED to be prepared. Anyway , I started my period a couple weeks ago and I want to know what should I do when I’m at school and I need to change my pad? Like where should I put my pad? I know in the trash but I don’t want it to be noticeable that I’m on my period when other girls walk in the bathroom. And how can I make it quieter when I’m opening my pad? I’m VERY embarrassed about having periods. and what should I do if I have a spot on my pants cause at my school we wear khaki pants and white shirts…
Every girl gets her period, so I know this feels embarrassing (because it is happening in your private area) but it is also part of being a woman and being alive. You are actually pretty lucky that you get to spend your summer adjusting to your period. This will all seem less intimidating when school gets here. If you are embarrassed by the sound of opening the pad, open it before you get to school and roll it up in a paper towel or something. On your heavy flow days, wear a second pair of underwear over the one that is holding the pad in place. This helps prevent accidents.
You can check on your pad between every class. Even if you see that it is not time to change it, that will give you peace of mind. If you see a spot, pull up your pants, go to the sink, put soap and water on a paper towel. Go back into a stall and scrub it out. This will dry within the next half hour.
There should be a little container which serves as a receptacle for used pads and tampons in each stall. If there is not, then you roll the used pad in toilet paper and tuck it into your hand. As you come out to wash your hands, subtly toss that into the wastebasket. You are not the only girl doing this. These are just the little tips and tricks that all women learn to use during that time of the month.
Ever since my brother got a girlfriend (Rose) I feel like it’s my job to keep them together. My brother is four years older than me, but I feel like if I do anything or say anything Rose will be disgusted by it and end their relationship. I know that they’re relationship has nothing to do with me. This is my brothers first serious relationship so I don’t know how to act around his girlfriend. We get along fine but what if Rose all of a sudden gets so annoyed with me about something that she breaks up with my brother!?! He would never forgive me! I know I’m just being paranoid but I need advice!
I wouldn’t use the word “paranoid,” but I would ask you what may have led you to believe that Rose’s love for your brother is contingent upon your behavior? Have you been made to feel, in your household, that what you say and do has an effect on love? Does love feel conditional to you? If that has been happening, then I am so sorry. It’s not fair and it’s not realistic.
Flip it around. If you loved a boy and his sister was a wild, little hellion, would you love the boy less? With no offense intended, you are giving yourself far too much power in your brother’s life. He and his girlfriend are fully capable of loving or not loving each other based on a billion factors that do not include you.
Get to know Rose and be kind to her, just because it’s the right thing to do and because she will enrich your life, but you are neither their glue nor their dissolvent. You have no power to either pull them apart or hold them together.