We're so very excited to kick off this series today which features some of the stories and photographs from "I'll Show You Mine", a book by Wrenna Robertson and photographer Katie Huisman, and by all of the women featured in the book, collectively.
When I was a very young child, I remember really, really loving my vagina. The smell and sight of it made me feel comfortable and at home, and I was very vocal about how proud I was to be a girl. When I was still young and cute enough for adults to find me benign and non-threatening, I'd boast at length about my genitalia, describing its structure in detail - even feeling it was far superior to the junk of the boys around me.
If you’ve been reading Scarleteen for a while, you might already know that for many years now, we've heard from a good deal of young women who are deeply ashamed of and disgusted by these parts of their own bodies.
We take this very seriously, and have always wanted to do everything we could to try and help dispel all kinds of body shame or hatred, including that of the vulva. Over the next couple of months, we’re going to go ahead and take the risk of publishing some photos of real-person vulvas, because we’ve found something we think is beautifully done, very much needed, and that we think can be of great benefit to many of our readers, whether they have vulvas themselves or not.
Nearly two years ago, I started thinking about getting an IUD instead of continuing to take the birth control pills that had served me well for more than half a decade. I had always liked the idea of being free of synthetic hormones while still being confident that I wouldn’t get pregnant. The thought of getting an IUD floated around in the back of my mind, but I was satisfied enough with my pill that I wasn’t jumping at the chance to change my routine.
A few months ago, though, something changed.
In my experience it feels like there are two crowds, those who are 'cool' and have frequent sexual activity, hookups etc both in and out of relationships (or at least portray themselves as doing so) and those who are 'pure' who have decided at this point to abstain from sex until marriage, who are frequently Christian or otherwise religious. I think there's pressure to fit into one of those groups, either to go out and have lots of sex or to not have sex at all.
Here in the hemisphere I live in, we're into the swing of summer. Ah, summer, my personal favorite season. I love the sun, the warmth, everything blooming, the energy, the spirit of the season.
It's also the time of year when we tend to see the most new users coming to us because they're in a crisis or a panic, or are just really, really feeling down in the dumps. We know that the idea of summer as a happy, carefree time for all young people doesn't square with the reality that for plenty, it's not, whether that's about tough stuff happening, or about having experiences that aren't negative, but are just super-challenging. With that in mind, here are a few tips and things to think about as you get into (or grapple with) your summer groove:
Just a quick update about a change starting at Scarleteen, for those who use our direct services.
With both our message boards and text service, we have told our users for many years now that they can expect a reply from a staff member or volunteer within 24 hours, though most have usually received replies more quickly than that, often even within minutes at certain times of day.
If you’re anything like me you probably put off things you don’t want to do for a long time. Especially those things that I really don’t want to do, like my math homework. This type of procrastination gets even worse when it comes to things that I know I could get in trouble for.
What if I was putting off something more important than a test grade?
What if I needed to tell my parents I was having an abortion?
What do we know about teen parents? Take a moment to make a mental list (or, if you’re motivated to get out a pen and paper, I won’t stop you) of all the facts and statistics you’ve heard.
In case you’re coming up short, I’ll give you a few: