Ask Suzanne: Our Advice Column for Readers – Body Image, Bashfulness, and Bullying


Dear readers,
ASK SUZANNE is an advice column to advise people as to how to deal with their concerns and issues. I try to ensure that you will make the best decisions to help yourself move forward in positive ways. I hope you will write to me, in confidence, seeking my guidance. Just a reminder: I will not disclose any information sent to me. What you write will always remain anonymous. I encourage you to be creative with your usernames and send feedback so that this column will be successful in helping those who seek advice. You can email me at [email protected]. Thanks! I look forward to reading your letters.
Suzanne = ]

I went prom dress shopping with my friends a few months ago. While trying on different styles, I noticed that there were very few in or even close to my size. When I went home, I started exercising and eating less to lose weight. I don’t eat when I go out with my friends, and I try not to eat too much when I’m at home. But, then my friends started talking about my eating habits so I stopped hanging out with them. Other than that, it’s been working great for me.

But a couple of weeks ago my parents started talking about my eating. They say I’m moody and tired. All teenagers are moody and tired. So, they looked some stuff up online, and they are now concerned that I might be developing anorexia nervosa. This doesn’t make any sense, because I feel fine. I mean sometimes I get dizzy, but nothing to be concerned about.

Anyway, I just read this article on purging, and it said that it would really help me lose weight, but I’m a little skeptical of making myself throw up. Should I do this?

NO. You should not. This is a serious problem; eating disorders are not something to be toyed around with. Your parents are right: if you continue to hurt yourself like this, it could cause serious health and emotional problems.

I know it sounds appealing to be able to lose a few pounds quickly by purging, but the consequences greatly outnumber the rewards. You need to think about how this choice will affect your health. Each time you make yourself throw up, you are allowing your teeth to come in contact with acid from your stomach. Twenty years from now, you might have tooth decay – do you really want to deal with that?
Your parents just want what is best for you. It might seem like they are being too controlling, but they care about your health and your well-being. I know they want to see you grow up to be the best person you can be – successful and amazing.

I deeply advise you to stop doing this practice before you do irreparable damage to your body. You need to open up a dialogue with your parents, and I think you would benefit from speaking with a therapist who will help you understand and deal with this issue. I hope you take this advice to heart. Here are a few websites that I’m sure will provide you with valuable information: &
I wish you luck.
~ Suzanne 🙂


I’ve been having a hard time trying to ask this girl in my class to prom. I’m afraid she is going to say “no” to me. We don’t really talk that much: only when we are assigned as lab partners or something. How do I build up some confidence in order to ask her out? Also, do you know any cool way to “prompose”?
~ DBZ-fan 100 ~

~ DBZ-fan 100 ~,
It all depends on the girl that you want to ask. Some people prefer promposals that are above and beyond, and others like simple things. If you know them, maybe you can ask some of her friends what she likes. Usually, people prompose with a sign and a little gift, something that embodies the person’s personality.

There are several ways to build confidence. Personally, when I have to do a presentation or am stressed about a test, it helps to go over it more than once, that way I know what to do. If you do this, then you will know what to do each step of the way.

You can also get some of your friends to help you think of other ways to prompose. I hope this helped!
~ Suzanne 😉

Dear Suzanne,
I think I’m being bullied. In some of my classes, people start whispering and giggling around me. I know that isn’t a definite sign for someone being bullied, but I always get uncomfortable when people do that around me. I don’t know how to stop this. Do I need to see a therapist or something? Maybe I should talk to my parents, but they probably wouldn’t understand what I’m going through. They never understand.

Plus, I’m a shy person, and I can’t just go up to people and ask them to stop laughing. They are going to think that I am a weirdo, a buffoon, a jester. Can you please help me!

The first thing you need to do is calm down. The easiest way I can think of to get rid of this anxiety is to become friends with them. I know it seems hard, but the more you talk to people, the easier it becomes to talk to new people. You can also try talking to a therapist about why you are having these problems. Maybe you have had trouble with people bullying you in the past. Or maybe there was someone in your life that was overly critical of you. This could contribute to you being scared of people talking about you behind your back.

The reality of this situation is that they are most likely not talking about you; they could just be laughing about something else. Usually when people are making fun of someone, they constantly glance over or point at them. Plus, in my experience, people don’t usually make fun of other people while they are within listening distance. I really hope this helped!
~Suzanne =)