Dear Kristen,

My girlfriend is self-conscious about her body. I think she is very attractive, but I can’t make her believe that. How can I help her believe that she is attractive as she actually is? I think it’ll help in bed.


“Concerned SO”

Hello “Concerned,”

It’s wonderful that you’re so invested in building your girlfriend’s confidence. Unfortunately, confidence is difficult to build through words alone. Initiate gentle kisses, looks, touches and playful grabbing of her body (if she’s into that). It will show that you can’t resist how tempting she is. Communicating your appreciation for her body nonverbally will make it hard for your girlfriend to ignore the message.

Catch her when she’s off guard — when she’s reading in bed or making a sandwich. Tell her specifically what you love about her. You don’t have to launch into a corny metaphor, but focus on things that you genuinely find attractive, like the scar below her lip or the way her eyebrow fans out. Touch it, say it, and maybe in time she will love it as well.

If she’s very self-conscious or embarrassed of certain areas — say the hair on her big toe for instance — don’t push her. Don’t feel bad if she doesn’t believe you. It’s not up to you to convince her. Ultimately, she has to realize her own beauty.

Yours truly,


Dear Kristen,

I’m a sophomore with a strong desire to major in theatre. My parents — who are paying for school — do not support this and want me to pick a major that will guarantee that I make money. I have to decide my major soon; what should I do?


“Undecided Undeclared”

Dear “Undecided,”

Education is an investment. Many of us go to college because we enjoy learning, but the ultimate goal is to eventually get a job — preferably one that pays well. I can understand why your parents are hesitant about your choice. A life in theatre can be rewarding, but it can be full of uncertainty and rejection. At the end of the day, your parents are paying for your education, which is a gift itself. If you can, major or minor in theatre, but tack on another major that you enjoy and that your parents find valuable or more relevant to today’s workforce.

Increasingly, one’s major has nothing to do with the profession they eventually wind up in. Plenty of people stumble into theatre by pure talent, luck or coincidence. Gerard Butler was a lawyer before he landed on the big screen.

Unless your parents are forcing you into one specific major or career, I’m sure you can have a sound discussion about why you love theatre and how you can make a decent living doing it. Show your parents how you plan to make it work, even if that means having a plan B.

Fortunately, most of theatre education is about experience. There are plenty of ways to get your theatre fix at Binghamton University without committing to a major or Mainstage productions. Student-run theatre groups such as the Hinman Production Company and the Dickinson Community Players may have more flexible schedules if you find another major to be too demanding. There are also local community groups such as the Endicott Performing Arts Center and the Cider Mill Playhouse.

Good luck,