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I can make you a man, too, (Not) the Charles Atlas way.

The title above refers to a famous series of fitness and bodybuilding advertisements from the 1940's & 50's. The not so subtle suggestion in these ads, and many male-targeted ads and products since, is that masculine identity primarily about being strong, about having power, often masculinity is seen as something literally embodied. But that's not the case; masculine identity is so very much more than what can be seen, about so much more than expressions of power and dominance. And it cannot be bought from the back of a magazine. It is not the working and developing of the body that is important in terms of male identity, but rather the process of developing a healthy and respectful sense of masculine identity. That process is what I'd like to write a little bit about. In particular about how masculine and sexual identities are formed and developed. From the outset I can tell you this is going to be a bit tricky - because personal identity is (obviously) personal, and variable. I can'

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From Us to You: Some Volunteer Aunties Talk Body Image

I know it's only so much consolation to you right now, but the older I get, the more I notice how much easier having a positive body image becomes. I know that's clearly not the case for all older women: after all, plenty of women my age and older are getting sliced, diced and Botoxed to within an inch of their lives. However, it's also not just me. I often notice that women I'm friends with also seem to have a good handle and perspective on their body image, despite the diversity of our bodies. Usually a much better one then they had when they were your age.

But you know, what I wish I knew then that I do know now is that most of my body image is totally up to me. Just like it is now, so it was when I was in my teens: I have control over how positive or negative it is. And that's something you'll find many older women wish they had known back when. You don't have to wait until you're in your 30's, 40's or beyond to get to a better place with yours. You can start doing that right

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Want to be a peer sex educator?

In case it isn't obvious from the message boards and our peer-written content on the site, peer-based sex education and support is really important to and at Scarleteen. While I love my job as a sex educator who is an older adult, and think there's a lot of value in my doing this work, at the same time I feel like there's an extra power and a special kind of support with peer-to-peer education and interaction that I can't do.

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Respect!

"So why do I harp all day about respect, and write books and blogs about it? Because I want every girl to reach her potential. I want every girl to value herself more than all the bling in the world. I want every girl to be safe and to heal from the bad-dark stuff that happens. I want every girl to discover what one of my teacher's calls your "soul wisdom." In other words, I want you to know the real you and to be all in love with you. I want you to know how to stand by and for you. Then you can spread your yummy amazingness to the world. The world *needs* you to make it. It needs you to blow the lid off this mutha (in your own way, of course)! And it starts with respect on the inside." - Courtney Macavinta, co-author

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