I hate my arms. I really do. In the winter it’s OK, because they’re always covered, but in the summer it is terrible. I try to wear long sleeves and jackets to cover them, but I can’t bear the heat and always end up being incredibly uncomfortable. I know I should love my body, but I just don’t feel OK wearing short sleeves. Until I learn to deal with it, do you have any suggestions for how to cover your arms without being too warm?

I know how it feels when you are self-conscious about a body part and want to cover it up forever, but I really do hope you learn to get over it and embrace yourself sooner rather than later. For one thing, I do NOT want you to get overheated when it is 100 degrees outside and you’re out there wearing a sweater! You better have a big bottle of water with you at all times! Until that precious I-don’t-give-a-fuck moment comes for you, though, deal with warm days by wearing lightweight blouses, maybe with three-quarter or elbow-length sleeves. This top from Forever 21 looks like a good one to start with.

Clockwise from top left: Hot Spot Blouse, $38, Nastygal.com; lilac blouse, $48, Nastygal.com; pink-and-white striped top, $37, Lulus.com; Always on the Sunny Side Top, $50, Modcloth.com.

Printed semi-sheer blouses are also in effect right now, so you have a ton to choose from. (Wear a camisole or a tank underneath, since most of them are too thin to wear alone.) And have some fun with lace, like this cream kimono jacket that you can throw over almost anything. There is also this real purdy lace bell-sleeved dress! I hope that gives you some ideas. Just keep in mind that more than likely you are the only one noticing your arms, my boo! I hope you learn to love them soon! xoxo Marie

I want to get an eyebrow piercing. My parents are wholeheartedly against this idea. They say that because I’m black I’m susceptible to keloid scars, and that I have to wait till I’m 18 to get anything pierced anyway. I get what they’re saying, but I feel like right now, before I’m 18 (and therefore an adult), is my time to do reckless things and make mistakes. I’ve researched eyebrow piercings, keloids, infections, how awesome it would be to have an eyebrow piercing, etc., but I seem to be getting a lot of different information from different sources. Please help me with facts!

I think you have demonstrated a lot of maturity by researching all these things. When I decided I wanted to pierce my nose last year I just went to the place and got it done and it didn’t even OCCUR to me to research. Anyways, I just looked at the Wikipedia page for keloids, and it seems that they are not as likely to happen around the eyebrow area. I spoke to my best friend who got her eyebrow pierced when we were in high school, and this is what she said: “I think everybody reacts differently to piercings. How you’ve scarred in the past is probably a good indication of how your piercing will heal and scar. The absolute best thing you can do when getting a piercing is to take good care of it afterwards. Clean and disinfect it every day, until it heals fully. I loved having my eyebrow pierced. It healed better than my ear and tongue piercings.” What sucks is that in most places (in the U.S., at least) you need your parents’ permission to get pierced these days; and the truth is you don’t really wanna go to a place that acts willy-nilly about rules because then EW. Go to a really reputable place, and make sure they pierce you with a needle, not a piercing gun. Are you 16? If you’re 16 I think maybe you can be like, “Hey, if I’m old enough to drive a car, then I think I should be able to poke a hole in my face” (remind her that eyebrow piercings don’t last forever like a tattoo!). The truth is, I don’t think getting your eyebrow pierced is reckless. Especially since you’ve done so much research and are willing to have a conversation with your parents about it. I don’t think it’s a mistake either, because it’s not permanent! I hope this helps somehow. Good luck! —Laia

I’m 21 years old and my face looks very “cute” (as opposed to “beautiful” or “sexy”). But I feel like I’m old enough to start wearing “sexy” clothes. The problem is that I don’t know how to do this! Right now I wear a lot of mod, ’60s-style, retro stuff. But I fear that this style makes me look even “cuter.” can you help me?

Hey girl! I sure can! I suffer from cute-itis too, and I’m much older than you. First of all, don’t fret about being too cute, because that just means you can play tricks on people and get away with it, lookin’ all adorable and all! Just kidding!

When I myself don’t feel like being Miss Cuteashia La BonBons (the name by we shall address our adorable alter egos), I try to summon the elegant sexiness of someone like Dita Von Teese.

Dita is a woman who embodies LA SEXY without showing a ton of skin (well, at least when she’s not performing burlesque). So, what tips can we get from her?

1. Find clothing that fits your body well and is tailored to your shape. If you dig that same retro look she does, pencil skirts, like this one from Mode Merr, hug the bod and are flattering on many shapes. Invoke your inner Wanda Woodward and wear this exact outfit. Think “bodycon” instead of “A-line tea party.”

2. Don’t be afraid to show off what you find sexy about yourself. If you love your legs, wear a mini. If your favorite body part is your belly, wear a crop top!

3. Think sexy in terms of color, too. Choose solid colors and simple patterns over loud, bright prints (which have their place and time!). Black lace tights are a sexier choice than bright green knee socks (me today). High heels or wedges are sexier than flats. Skip cutesy clothing details like ruffles or bows and save your unicorn earrings and your Hello Kitty purse for Cuteashia La BonBon days. Lastly, don’t forget some sexy red lipstick like M.A.C.’s Lady Danger! xoxo Marie

My dark-brown hair is bra-strap length, and I usually wear it in a very boring ponytail or a bun. I am so tempted to get a bob, but I’m worried about looking like a mom. Can you show me some pictures that I can take to the hairdresser of unboring, non-soccer-mom bobs? I don’t want a fringe, so traditional bob inspiration like Uma in Pulp Fiction or Louise Brooks is out, unfortunately! Love, Jessica

Hi, Jessica! I too know that desire to lop off my hair into something shorter and fresher, but unlike you I’m not brave. So instead, I stare at photos of girls with cute bobs for obscenely lengthy amounts of time. My weird obsession is your gain, though! There are lots of ways to wear a bob in a way that is chic and fun and not soccer-mom-esque at all.

If you’ve got a bit of wave or curl to your hair, this short bob on Keira Knightley is so cute:

If you’re looking for something slightly longer, why not try something like this ’do Kirsten Dunst used to have?

To bring out that beachy, wavy texture, try a sea-salt hairspray like A Beautiful Life Brands’ Pregame Texturizing Spray ($22, abeautifullife.com). It smells amazing!

Bobs like these look really good on straight hair, too. See?

To keep a straight look from frizzing out, try a smoothing lotion like Redken’s Outshine 01 Anti-Frizz Polishing Milk ($4, amazon.com).

I don’t think you’d call any of these bobs frumpy, and you wouldn’t see them on a soccer mom, unless of course she was a really cool soccer mom (yes that is possible: Gwen Stefani is a soccer mom!). —Hannah

I’m 20 years old, and I just scored an awesome job at a credit union. I know I’ll have to make some fashion sacrifices (no more black denim and band shirts, dangit), but I also don’t want to lose my individuality. Most of the people who work at the credit union wear khakis, dresses, and cardigans—which is what I interviewed in, but I can’t keep this up forever! At my current job I wear a lot of riding pants with long tops—I am not well versed in the ways of more professional-looking bottoms. I’m a bit round around the midsection, and button-downs (or the idea of tucking them in) are sort of horrifying to me. I just want to look like a more refined version of myself. Any suggestions? —Jenna

I don’t think you need to lose your individuality just because you work at a conservative place. If you normally live in black jeans and band shirts, you just have to figure out a way to translate those same pieces into more-serious stuff. Start with your jeans, for example: are they skinny or bootcut? Look for a pair of black pants in the same style. You can find nice jersey tops that will feel as comfortable as your favorite band tee but are dressier. If you have an aversion to tucking things in, find tops that end an inch or so below the waistband so they’ll look a li’l bit more profesh. A soft blazer is a great way to top it all off without falling into the cardigan route, and you can maybe even put your favorite band’s button on the lapel to keep your totally AWESOME spirit alive. —Laia ♦

If you have a question for a future Damn Girl, please send it to Marie at [email protected].