September 21, 2020 SHOULD I CHANGE THE WAY I DRESS??? Dear Nikki, It seems like now that I’m in middle school, all of my friends are suddenly more concerned about what they wear. We used to never talk about clothes. All of us just wore jeans, t-shirts, baggy sweatshirts and whatever. But now whenever we Zoom, my friends talk about shopping all the time and they all try to dress trendier. They’re all crazy about “accessories” and stylish clothes. A few of them wear make-up. One even wears high heels and plucks her eyebrows!! I’m not ready for any of that. I don’t even have my ears pierced!! I don’t want to lose my friends. What should I do?Sincerely, Plain Jane Hi Plain Jane, I tend to embrace my inner DORK by wearing all kinds of clothes—okay, sometimes I don’t exactly wear them on purpose… like that one time our glam skating outfits were STOLEN by you-know-who and replaced with wacky clown costumes (you can read all about that in Dork Diaries 4: Tales from a Not-So-Graceful Ice Princess). Sure, I like wearing dresses every now and then, and occasionally I get a little jealous of the CCPs and all of their clothing bling, but I’m also a sucker for SUPER comfy sweatpants and sweatshirts. My mom says that if I have fun dressing up, then go for it, but if it’s not my thing, that’s completely fine, too! And as for wearing HEELS? Sure, those things can bring together a fierce look, but let’s face it—by the end of an hour, they’re as painful as watching MacKenzie make a snarky comment and then sashay away. (I just HATE IT when that girl sashays! ☹) By the way, OMG, can you imagine eyebrow tweezers in the hands of my little sister Brianna at her so-called Salon Brianna? If she tried to give me another makeover with those things, I’d end up needing an ambulance! SOOOOOO, no make-up, no necklace, no pierced ears? No problem! You don’t need accessories to rock whatever your look is—and more importantly, you don’t have to “rock” any look! Have you ever read The Princess Diaries? It’s a book series—in the first book, there are two best friends, and when one of them starts to dress a little fancier, it starts to affect their friendship… but then they realize that appearances have nothing to do with who they are inside, so they make up (and by that, I DO NOT mean the icky, pasty kind you slather all over your face)! Hey, by middle school and high school we’re all kind of changing physically at different rates, and that kind of thing can also make people change how they want to dress. So be patient with your friends. They’re fine for wanting to explore new clothing styles and you’re fine for NOT wanting to. And okay, this is going to sound SUPER cheesy, but whether you love dresses, leggings or overalls, the most important thing is that you can feel like your true self—because I guarantee that you’re awesome! 😀 Here are some things you can keep in mind: Growing up doesn’t mean that you have to change who you are. Like I said, we’re ALL going through changes. You can play around with new clothing styles if you want to—but don’t feel like you have to force it! Have an honest talk with your friends about how you feel. Chances are, they don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable—they’re just excited about their new interests and want to share them with you. And guess what? Maybe some of your friends secretly feel EXACTLY like you! UM, MOTHER NATURE MADE ELASTIC FOR A REASON. We all need to be comfortable! Embrace the COMFY! On that note, comfortable clothes can TOTALLY be stylish!! So if you ever do feel like you want to go shopping with your friends, maybe have them check out a cool store with clothes that are more your style. Finally, remember that it’s fine to not even be THINKING about having a clothing style! If thinking about waking up for a day of clothes shopping makes you want to hit the Snooze button a million times, skip it (unless your mom’s making you go… or else you have to spend the day babysitting an annoying little sister like Brianna). Okay, readers, your time to chime in—have you ever felt like your friends want you to be someone you’re not, whether it’s with clothes or something else? What did you do about it? Tell us all about it in the comments!