My name is Janet. I don't usually write to magazines and stuff, but when you asked last week in the letters page whether there were any teens who wanted to share their experiences about what they found the most difficult thing about being a teenager, I thought I had to write to you.
So who am I? I am sixteen, have two younger brothers and am in Grade 11 at a co-ed government school. I play hockey, like to dance, am a member of the hiking club and the drama club and would like to be a TV announcer one day.
But who am I kidding? With my acne as it is, I cannot see anyone employing me to appear in public, unless I can do so wearing a balaclava. Unless they start a TV channel specially for hijackers, I will probably have to think of something else.
So why do I find this acne thing difficult? Don't all teenagers have a few zits now and then? Yes, they do. But mine has got particularly bad in the last few months. Two small boys in the supermarket called me pizzaface last week and that really hurt. I am a very social person, have quite a few friends and like going to movies or to the beach.
But recently, I have started staying in and watching more TV on my own rather than being made fun of. I feel as if everyone is looking at me. I've always been quite confident, but last week I had to take part in a class debate and I could feel myself blushing.
I know I am still quite young, but I have never been on a date, although I have a good figure, nice hair and a pretty face – that's if you can look past the zits. I am already worried about the Matric dance next year. What if no one asks me? Will anyone go with me if I ask them?
Right, so why have my parents not done something about this? Well, they have taken me to the doctor and he gave me some tablets, but they have not worked. Maybe I should go and see someone else and try some new medication. In an age of internet communication, laser surgery and satellite tracking, surely they could do something about my face?
In the meantime, I try to remain positive, to keep my hands off my face and also try not to identify too much with The Man in the Iron Mask – it can get depressing, but I do think I know how he felt.
Who knows, with a bit of luck, veils will come back into fashion before the Matric Dance?
Do only teenagers get acne?
How many people have acne?
Is it true that acne becomes worse before periods?