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Do Tell: How Did Your Teenage Years Affect Who You Are Now?

Nerdy, popular, weird, athletic. It's easy to get labeled in high school, and the identity others place on you can help determine how you see yourself into adulthood, even if the label is no longer appropriate.

In the July issue of Harper's Bazaar, the lovely Kate Winslet talks about still finding it odd being described as beautiful:

"Because I think what you feel like as a teenager never really goes away. If you were teased for being fat or thin or having bad teeth, you're always insecure about that particular area of yourself. So I've never thought of myself as any kind of beauty, iconic or otherwise."

It's hard to imagine this gorgeous, down-to-earth, and talented woman not thinking of herself as a beauty, but I've known other beautiful women who are like her. (Honestly, these women tend to be cooler than those who have always felt gorgeous!)

So how did your teenage years affect who you are now? Were you labeled in ways that no longer fit who you are, but you find it hard to let go of?

Image Source: Getty
alexask alexask 8 years
i was everything in high school, a rebel, punk, popular, and teachers liked me cause i worked hard. but i always thought i was ugly and never tried to be one of the girls. now that i've grown more into my femininity i've realized how low my self-esteem is about my looks and it's been really hard to feel or even pretend to be confident.
RachLA RachLA 8 years
I thank God that I didn't peak in high school. The people who did are now still living with their parents, in bad marriages with HS friends or got fat... or all of the above :)
equestriennechic equestriennechic 8 years
I was teased for being flat-chested... but now I'm a B cup, and I'm more insecure about my weight than my chest size...
le-romantique le-romantique 8 years
People told me I was a lesbian, a man, etc. because I have a deep, raspy voice (which men seem to find sexy, an example being Lindsay Lohan or Scarlett Johansson) and people told me I was ugly... but I never thought I was and I still don't think I am. I love the way I look. I never let other people get to me, I knew all teenagers are assholes, anyway.
staple-salad staple-salad 8 years
In high school I started out as the loner, then I got some friends, but was kinda the outcast of the group. Senior year however, I made a lot of great friends, and now that I'm in college, I'm almost a 180 in some respects to how I was in high school. I'm still socially awkward, but I have a lot of great friends. I'm still in the geeky/alternative groups, but I'm not just one person trying and failing to get into the more "popular" crowd. I'm not sure how much my label in high school has affected me. I used to be the "goody-two-shoes" that was so much so nobody wanted to be around me, but now I'm pierced, tattooed, in a Rocky Horror cast... I didn't really get teased in high school, but out of it is like being let out of my cage.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 8 years
I hate when kids pick on other kids for being tall. If someone's bigger than you that's a reason not to mess with them!
teegaall teegaall 8 years
I got along with most of the different groups in high school. I was about 30 pounds heavier back then but I was still in decent shape and active (played on the school's basketball team). I never got teased or anything but I never got much attention from guys other than being "one of the guys" on the court. I was fine with that role back then. I'm looking forward to my high school reunion and having the guys see how I look now. No more big t-shirt and baggy jeans!
JulieJean JulieJean 8 years
I'm a tall girl and have always felt insecure about it because of how people always looked at me. I've just started wearing capris in public because before, I was so self conscious about my big feet. It's hard going through your teens if you're not an average person. Kids can be so mean and stupid sometimes. Seems like everyone just wants to ban the differences that make us individuals and have an all out cheerleader league. (not that there's anything wrong with being a cheerleader) I'm trying to grow out of those insecurities, but I still care soo much about what others might think about me.
Ac2366 Ac2366 8 years
I was always told that I was too tall and ugly. Big nose, bad teeth, the works. My nose is still the same and now I get compliments on it and I've accepted it for what it is. My teeth have been fixed, but I spent so many years being picked on that I still often cover my mouth when I smile or laugh. I fell in love with my height in my early 20's so I no longer wish I shorter like everyone else. Some days I feel beautiful and others I feel like that ugly teenager still. Depends on the day.
totygoliguez totygoliguez 8 years
I did not had the label experience to be honest. I had a small group of friends. While in high school I was very clear who I was and what I wanted;nonetheless, I had a great deal of support from my mom; who always made me feel beautiful and important. So what people thought of me didn't really bother or affected me because I was surrounded of great people that appreciated me and respected me and did not try to changed me.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Well, I took a lot of lessons from my teenage years. Sure, I was labeled a lot of things -- geek, athlete, cute girl, a goodie two-shoe, etc. All those labels used to bother me because as a teenager I cared too much about what other people thought of me. As I gotten older, I learned to care less about what other people thought of me. I most valued MY opinion of myself. I am most accountable to myself (and spiritually, to God). Everybody else, with all due to respect to them, mattered less (when it came to an opinion about me). I live by the saying: What people think of me is none of my business, and I don't owe them any explanations. :)
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
hs is traumatizing!
prosecco-in-the-park prosecco-in-the-park 8 years
I think Kate is very genuine and I really admire how down to earth she is as she is so beautiful and talented.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 8 years
High school did me a lot of good. Before that as a preteen I had low self esteem mostly about my bad skin. But in high school my skin cleared up and I got more interested in beauty trends. Not only did I have people telling me I should be a model but I found really good friends, (most of whom weren't very interested in beauty) and that gave my confidence a boost.
skigurl skigurl 8 years
i went through a time when i was just average looking...i hung out with the popular crowd all my life and am outgoing and friendly but from highschool through to age 23ish i didn't get tons of attention for my looks...some but not as much as my other now, i still feel average but am told i'm way hotter than average, so it keeps me modest
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
I was "popular" since I can remember. Did it ever get to my head? No. Why? Because it's hard to really care about what people think about you when you feel so insignificant on the inside. I felt absolutely disgusting as a person, not to mention physically. It was almost as if I had these people who wanted to surround themselves around me just to make me feel like I was someone I was not. Like, it was a joke to them. However, the fact that so much attention was bestowed upon me, getting lots of attention now is just something I love to avoid. Even being too close to people for a period of time makes me extremely uncomfortable, almost angry. It's made me realize that you don't see yourself for who you are...and it's easy to get down on yourself. 99% of the things you think people think about you are not true, and it's helped me to know that even though I feel terrible on the inside, not everyone thinks I am terrible. Now, I want to avoid being the center of attention. There is so much more to life than being someone's friend. It's gotten to the point where I don't even want to be a friend anymore. I just want to be left alone. I want to do my job, make money, retire, and get on with my life. In that respect, yes, it has made me strive for solace.
dikke-kus dikke-kus 8 years
Kate Winslet is being overly modest as she stands there looking like Grace Kelly.
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