Beauty Guru: A Few Fashion Notes for My Younger Self

Dear 16-year-old Amanda,

Boy, do I have some things to tell you! I know you want to be fashionable. And I know you want to look cool, but there are some things you should know. You should know that no matter what you wear, you are beautiful. Please don't change yourself just to fit in. Figure out who you are and how to be comfortable in your own skin, because this is something that will last the rest of your life. You don't need to be a slave to fashion. Pick and choose what is flattering and fun, and ditch the rest. Here are a few examples of styles you've tried. Which ones did you really like?

The poodle perm. Spiral perms may have been all the rage, but poodle perms are not all that flattering. Don't you remember the first perm that burned off about half of your hair? That should have been your first clue that it really wasn't a good idea to get a big, puffy perm in your fine, straight hair.

The crimping iron. Speaking of fine straight hair, the crimping iron was terribly damaging. Instead of long, straight, healthy hair, you ended up with dried, fried, and crinkled locks. Your short, pixie cut is far more flattering and stylish than those crimped bouffants ever were.

The mall chick bangs. All I can say, is, what were you thinking? Did you really think it was cool to curl your bangs within an inch of their life, tease them like crazy and then douse them with Aqua-net? I know you wanted to be taller, but four inch high bangs probably wasn't the answer. You'll laugh about it later, I promise.

The concert outfit. I give you lots of props for having a certain style all your own. The black T-shirt, cut-off jean shorts, black tights, and combat boots was a pretty edgy look, even today. And I know you love tossing that flannel shirt over top - the black and white one. I liked when you tied it to give it a little shape, but buckling a belt overtop would have made it a little bit sleeker. You should give it a try.

Statement earrings. You're pretty well known for your statement earrings. The bigger the better, too. The large gold hoops, geometric shapes, even chandelier earrings. They were all great, except for that pair of neon peace signs…

When you get to be as old as me, you won't care that you wore crazy earrings, funky outfits, or had sky high bangs. You'll want to know that you are beautiful and special. And I promise, you are.