Paleness Packs a Punch This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

     I would like to thank Bethany for writing “Paleness Packs a Punch.” I agree that sometimes peer pressure can cause teenagers to put their health at risk. I, too, have experienced wanting desperately to fit in and have been willing to do whatever it takes. Like Bethany, I have very pale skin and am teased because of it.

During seventh grade, I had become so self-conscious about my appearance that I was willing to try anything to change how I looked. So I tried tanning myself the natural way but didn’t get the results I wanted. I then turned to a bottle of suntanning lotion; I thought that would be my way out. Even though I was thrilled that there was a way to darken my skin, something made me read the warning label which said there was a chance of getting skin cancer. Then, I started to think about the possible damage I could do to my body just to be accepted by my peers. I also realized that even if I transformed my body to meet their expectations, they still might not accept me. At that point I knew that if pleasing my peers meant putting my body at risk, it wasn’t worth it.

I still get self-conscious about my appearance, but now I realize that you can’t please everyone. I just wish that girls would realize how beautiful they really are and that harming their bodies will only result in problems.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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