media

Scarleteen Confidential: "The Talk"

SCsquareIf you're caring for a young person, then the question of when and how to have "the talk" with them has likely crossed your mind. It's generally understood to be one of the more dreaded moments of raising a young person, because it's awkward for everyone involved and seems like an awful lot to have to do all at once.

But it doesn't have to be an awkward, embarrassing, weird metaphors about birds and bees filled discussion. And it not only doesn't have to be all at once, it shouldn't be.

Scarleteen Confidential: In Defense of Teen Media

SCsquareFor two years, I worked in a bookstore that was aimed primarily at children and teenagers. It was a job I quite enjoyed, but I quickly discovered that when you work near books, people always want to tell you their opinions on said books. That's fine most of the time. But I noticed a pattern when parents or adults would refer to The Hunger Games series. They would express dismay over a child wanting to read the book, wondering what they saw in it, and either implicitly or explicitly stating that they thought the book was not good for youth to be reading.

What struck me about these conversations was that ninety-nine percent of the time, the adult in question had not even read the book they were criticizing. They dismissed it, either as inappropriate trash or as mindless fiction without ever actually seeing what it had to say.

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?

Hair Trouble

Jessica68
asks:
I'm 15. Okay, so I do swimming squad, and sometimes it's embarrassing wearing bathers, cause of pubic hair. I don't know how to get rid of it. Like once I was at my friends house, and she is obsessed with sex, so she watches porn, and I saw some too, and the women have no pubic hair whatsoever! And I get really bothered about that....

Decoding Sex in the Media: Why the Media Should Leave Kate Middleton's Baby Bump (And Everyone Else's) Alone

The implicit message behind OK!’s headline is clear: a new mother’s first concern should be her appearance.

This woman’s body just produced a tiny, squirming human being—we should celebrate it for this incredible feat! Instead, the media chooses to focus on presumed “flaws" of a person's body post-pregnancy, encouraging Kate—and women like her—to return (and immediately: do not pass go, do not collect $200) to the body she inhabited before she gave birth.

These types of headlines illustrate a disheartening phenomenon: the pervasive belief that a woman’s physical attractiveness (a trait dictated by an increasingly narrow beauty ideal) determines her value.