I have a confession to make: I did not watch Pretty Little Liars when it was on originally – shocking right? As is quite common for me, I waited until it was finished to decide I would see what all the fuss was about. I am currently up to Season Three, and I can say that despite myself, I am hooked. It has got me thinking though. Not just about who ‘A’ is (although I have used more precious brain power on that than I should admit to) but about how perfect these teenagers are – aesthetically speaking. I realise it is fiction, and in order to be appealing they couldn’t be awkward and spotty – it just wouldn’t be the same. It’s just, compared to myself as a teenager, they are like a different species.
I try not to have regrets, but I can’t help but think what I would change about my teenage years. What would I tell myself if I could go back and spend an hour (or 36) coaching myself on how to be a little bit less of a mess?
- Use more sun cream: When roasting in the back garden during the summer holidays, put cream on! Lots of it. And don’t wear those sunglasses when you’re sunbathing – you will regret it when you have to spend the rest of the week with a red face and white circles around your eyes.
- Even better, don’t roast in the garden during the summer holidays. Embrace your pale skin! At least until fake tan becomes more user friendly.
- Don’t – I repeat DON’T – pluck your eyebrows into oblivion. Definitely don’t shave them to save time. Just calm yourself down and tidy the stragglers – no more.
- Smile! Yes, I know you are shy (unfortunately that won’t ever change) but that doesn’t mean you can’t be friendly.
- Experiment with the length of your hair, by all means. Just accept that short hair suits your face better and go with it. You’ll only be frustrated (and hot) with long hair.
- That doesn’t mean you should agree to the disgraceful haircut that will result in you being teased mercilessly at secondary school. Being called Mop Top is not a pleasant experience.
- Enjoy yourself! These are the best years of your life. You’ll get married when you’re 20, so make the most of single life while you can. That’s not to say you should be promiscuous – far from it – just be more sociable.
- If you are going to insist on slathering thick foundation all over your healthy, young skin, at least choose the right shade. And don’t just stop when you get to your jawline.
- Don’t stress that you aren’t the prettiest in the room. One day soon you will meet someone who will genuinely believe that you are the prettiest girl in every room.
- Maybe think about doing some exercise, get that body fit before you hit thirty. It will be so much easier that way.
- And wear a crop top or something – that stomach will be ruined when you have your first baby and you’ll never be able to show it in public again without people gagging and turning green.
- Try a little bit harder at school. Stop worrying about what everyone thinks about you, and just concentrate. Who knows how much you could accomplish?
- And finally, don’t worry about most of these (except for the sun cream) you will be just fine. Four children is a pretty exciting accomplishment – let someone else be the brain surgeon that you are not. Oh, and your eyebrows will eventually grow back.
What about you, what would you tell yourself as a teen if you could? Or would you not change a thing?