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My Parents Want Me To Eat - But My Friends Think I'm Fat

Dear Birdy Slade,

I'm a 14-year-old girl, and I'm really struggling at home and school. My friends keep teasing me about my weight, calling me fat, which makes me feel awful. Because of this, I've started eating less, but now my parents are constantly nagging me about not eating enough. They don't know about the teasing, and I feel too embarrassed to tell them. I'm stuck between feeling pressured by my friends and nagged at by my parents. I don't know how to handle this situation. What should I do?

Sincerely,
Sindy

Dear Sindy,

First and foremost, I want you to know that you are not alone in this struggle, and it's brave of you to reach out for advice. The pressure you're facing from your friends and the situation at home can feel overwhelming, but there are ways to navigate through this.

Regarding your friends, it's important to remember that true friends should support and uplift you, not make you feel bad about yourself. Your worth is not determined by your weight or appearance. It's okay to stand up for yourself and tell them their comments are hurtful. If you don't feel comfortable doing this, consider spending time with other peers who treat you with the respect and kindness you deserve.

As for your parents, they might be nagging out of concern but not realizing the impact it has on you. It's important to communicate with them. You don't have to go into the details about the teasing if you're not ready, but you can express that their comments about your eating habits are making you feel stressed. Let them know you need their support, not pressure.

Your health, both mental and physical, is extremely important. If you're finding it hard to eat properly because of these pressures, it might be helpful to talk to a counselor or a trusted adult at school. They can provide support and help you develop healthy coping strategies.

Remember, you are worthy of respect and kindness, from others and from yourself. Take care of your well-being and surround yourself with people who make you feel good about who you are.

Sending you strength and support,
Birdy Slade

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