Ask Elizabeth: I Look So Young and Immature Compared to Everybody!

In honor of her new book Ask Elizabeth, Elizabeth Berkley (aka Jessie Spano from Saved by the Bell!) is here to answer your questions about life, love and more. Check out her advice all week, and look out for your chance to win a copy of her book on Friday, May 6! Now, on to your questions.

I get made fun of for not having boobs and for not having started my first period. I’m short and people think it’s okay to tease me. I tell them to stop but sometimes I get too angry and yell, and then it gets awkward. I’ve seen a counselor but it really didn’t help. I’m fourteen, and I’m not saying I want to make things go faster. I just want everyone else to slow down so I can catch up! It seems like everyone at my school already looks 20 years old – help!

When I tell you I understand what you are going through, please know I have been there. I was actually teased for being too tall and I was definitely a late bloomer. I didn’t get my boobs or period until I was 16 and all my friends had already developed. I know that feeling of “being behind” and it certainly doesn’t help when people are teasing you or reminding you! Grrr…

|Discuss your body woes & get advice on the Shout Out Boards|

If the comments or jokes are coming from friends of yours who think they’re being funny, it’s helpful to talk to them in person (NO texting about something this personal). It’s good to do it when you are not in the heat of the moment because as you said, it can get awkward when you let it build up and explode. Communicating from that place just makes it even more painful for you afterward, and ultimately you don’t even get what you want, because no one can really hear us when we are yelling. They just get defensive — know what I mean?

Just tell them one-on-one in a calm way that it really bothers you when they tease you about this and that you’d appreciate it if they can stop and also support you and speak up for you if they see someone else doing that. We all have things we are insecure about and I’m sure your friends has their own (even if they don’t talk to you about it). Sometimes it helps if we share how hurt we feel with someone we trust…they might not know the depth of what we are dealing with if we don’t tell them. Only do this if you feel it won’t be used against you later though.

|This gURL hates her skinny body and wants to gain weight for prom. Heather helps.|

I know you said you tried seeing a counselor—sometimes we need to talk to someone else and find the one that is the right fit. Empower yourself to ask for what you need and if what you need here is to find the right counselor, be patient with yourself and you will find the person that gets you.

In the meantime, definitely check out two sections in my book so you can see what other girls suggest, too: “How to Confront a Friend” would be good for you to see, and also if the people making these comments are NOT your friends, the “Mean Girls” section has great tools for you to check out so you know the next time this happens that you are not the victim and that you are armed with ways to empower yourself. Hope this helps you feel better in your own beautiful skin!


What do you think of Elizabeth’s advice? Have you been teased for being a late bloomer? What happened? Share your stories below.

more ways to get gURLy:

Posted in: Being Different, Body & Health, Body Image, Body Issues, Help Me Heather, Sucky Emotions, Sucky Emotions
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  • M

    I’m 16, and I’m only 5ft. tall. People mistake me for a 7th grader or a 12 year old all the time! It’s nothing to be upset about 🙂 We’ll be the ones looking stunning at age 40+

    • foreveryoung

      that is soo true. my mom is 50+ yet everyone says she looks like she’s in her late 30’s. 😀

  • Chris

    I’m 17 and when people ask me my age, I always get this reply “Haha, really? You look like you’re 13”. Though when I’ll be in my 30’s I’ll look younger than my friends who at 17 look 20 something.

  • Alice

    If it’s any comfort, you are not alone.
    I have exactly the same problem as you, and so do many others.
    I’m 15 and recently, I started to look older, and so will you. I started my period at 12, so you can’t believe how funny people thought it was to see a girl who looked 9 buying pads. It hurts. When I started high school a girl asked if I’d skipped a grade or two. You need to realize that they are in shock because they are jealous that your’e special and they’re not. Tell them that you’re short, it hurts but you’re hoping to grow. It will freak them out! Make sure you don’t give up on yourself.
    I know it feels like the walls are closing in, but bust out and know you are beautiful with a lot ahead of you in your life. Focus on your skills, grades etc. and think.. when you’re 40 you’ll look 30!

  • bri

    omg this sounds exactly like my best friend,but shes not 14 shes 13…..weird.