Blogs

Scarleteen Confidential: Teens and Body Image

SCsquareOur societies are chock full of norms and ideals of beauty, and we all run up against them eventually. These norms and expectations often have a hand in shaping how we feel about our own bodies. When you're a teen and trying to sort out how to feel comfortable in your changing body, these messages can be very potent indeed.

So, what can you do - and what shouldn't you do - to help teens feel at home in their own skin?

Scarleteen Confidential: When You Don't Like Their Partner

SCsquareIt's a perennial cliché in nearly every coming of age movie, book, and sitcom. An adolescent or emerging adult character brings home a new boyfriend or girlfriend, who is met with dismay or disapproval by parents.

In real life, it's not unusual for parents to not immediately like the partner of their teen, or to feel wary or cautious when it comes to supporting their romantic or sexual relationship.

So how do you go about working out whether or not your concerns are valid, and what to do about them if they are?

Scarleteen Confidential: Parenting Gender Non-Conforming Youth

SCsquareMany trans or gender non-conforming youth come to us looking for support they're having difficulty finding, or don't feel safe looking for elsewhere. We know from talking with these users that one of the biggest factors in their overall well-being -- and how hard or easy all of this is on them -- is how supported and safe they feel in their identities when around their families.

This piece is created with an eye towards how can you support them while dealing with any emotions you might have.

Scarleteen Confidential: Teens and Mental Health

SCsquareMental illness is often a hard thing to talk about even at the best of times. There's still so much stigma attached to it and mental healthcare, and a lot of misconceptions about what someone with a mental illness looks or acts like. It can be doubly scary and intimidating if the person dealing with that illness is your child.

What can you do to create a more supportive environment for a child who may be coping with mental illness?

On Belief

I am tired of disbelief.

I am tired of skepticism.

I am someone who does, genuinely, believe in the value of looking at things with a critical eye, of being cautious, of acknowledging that there are two sides to every story.

But I am tired of it when it comes to people who have been, or are being, harmed or made vulnerable.

Hey Hot Stuff: On Attraction, Desirability, and "Types"

I have a thing for Vincent Price.

I don't just mean that I enjoy his body of work. I mean I feel desire for his body.

You may be asking what, exactly, my feelings for a deceased horror icon have to do with the work we do at Scarleteen. The answer is that it gets me thinking about desire and how even those of us who consider ourselves enlightened can fall into old traps when it comes to attraction.

Straight, Gay and Everything in Between: On Sexual Fluidity

In an episode of the Mtv show 'Faking It', the main character Amy expresses being interested in a boy. Since this comes on the heels of Amy confessing her love for her female best friend at the end of the first season, many viewers felt frustrated and confused. Wasn't Amy a lesbian? Had she not just come out? What was she doing making eyes at that boy?