ask toni & josh

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 28 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 28 December, 2008, 12:00am

Dear Josh

I'm 14 and I like to play a lot of sport. But I've noticed that I sweat a lot and get very smelly.

I take a shower after exercising, and apply deodorant but I sweat again. It's so embarrassing. I think people are actually starting to avoid me being near me. Help!

Not wet behind the ears

Dear Pits

Hong Kong's summers can be killers when it comes to sweating. And let me tell you, nothing kills your chances with the girls - and even with your mates - when you smell like a wet dog.

But don't let sweat get to you. Everyone sweats - it's natural and healthy. But if you're having problems, you might want to switch your deodorant to an antiperspirant.

While deodorants only work to mask the smell of sweat, antiperspirants are made to actually prevent your pores from releasing too much perspiration.

Perspiration itself doesn't smell - it's the bacteria on your skin reacting with the moisture that creates the stink. Bathing or showering as soon as possible after you finish working out helps to remove those bugs.

Make sure you put on clean, fresh clothes after showering, and change your clothes every day.

Try to avoid wearing man-made fibres such as nylon and polyester, and choose natural fabrics like cotton instead - these let your skin 'breathe', allow sweat to escape and prevent nasty bacteria from gathering and making you the guy no one wants to sit next to.

Dear Toni

I'm 17 and I've never had a boyfriend! My friends tell me I'm pretty, and think I'm quite confident and interesting, but guys never seem to ask me out.

I did sort of start seeing one guy I met at a party. But when we were supposed to meet up at another party, he wasn't there.

I think the problem is that I don't know how to act around boys, or what to say to them.

What can I do to get guys to notice me and ask me out?

Miss Invisible

Dear Wallflower

First of all, you're not alone. Many girls battle to find Mr Right, or even Mr All Right For Now.

There's nothing wrong with not having had a boyfriend at your age. It just means you haven't met the right person yet. That time will come.

But there's an old saying that bears true here. If you want a friend, be a friend. Are there some boys that you are overlooking?

It's too easy when you're young to focus on things like looks. Of course you want a boyfriend you fancy. But it's equally, if not more important, to go out with someone whose personality you love.

Many girls simply have nothing in common with the boys they come into contact with on a regular basis. You can also feel that you'll get teased if you make friends with the class nerd or muso.

But that shouldn't matter: if you like a person, no one else's opinion should matter.

Don't be afraid of what other people think of your choices in male friends. Get to know people outside of your friendship group. Join clubs and do activities that interest you, even if your established friends aren't prepared to join you.

You never know who you could meet. And you never know who could end up being your Mr Right.

Hi Josh

My friend told me yesterday that I'm big-headed. I think I'm quite good looking and I never go past a mirror or a shop window without checking myself out.

I think this is normal behaviour. He says it's not. Who's right?


Dear One Dimensional

Taking care of your appearance is always important. Some guys are more fussed about it than others. It's easier for guys to be concerned about what they look like these days without getting teased, and fashion and skin care are things even rough, tough jocks can talk about.

But maybe if your friend has noticed and commented on your behaviour, you do have a small problem.

It's hard not to look in a mirror when you go past. Everyone does it. And thinking you look good only becomes a problem when you think others look bad, or it's the only thing you ever worry about.

Potential girlfriends are not going to be keen to continue getting to know you if they have to compete with you to look good.

But on the other hand, you don't want to go around looking like a slob.

Save the check-out time for when you're in the bathroom or before you go out the door - don't inflict vanity on your guy friends. Once you're out, try to concentrate more on what you're doing than what you look like. Be interested in the people around you, and they'll be interested in you.