In the twelve years that Mayor Bloomberg has presided over New York City, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (srsly, that’s for real, MENTAL HYGIENE) has been responsible for quite a few not always-well-received ad campaigns. The words “controversial” and occasionally “insensitive” come to mind — hello, human fat being poured out of a soda bottle; nice to see you, comically-crying “child of a teen mother.” (There was also that time they took a photo of a healthy two-legged man and Photoshopped him into a diabetes-suffering amputee.)
The department’s latest venture, which takes the form of posters to be found primarily in subways and on street corners, takes a slightly different approach than the usual I’m hungover and even if I weren’t I still didn’t really need to see that on my way to work this morning scare tactics. In fact, the NYC Girls Project is the rare positive stab at successful outreach. The posters, as well as the accompanying city-sponsored fitness programs and #imagirl Twitter campaign, are aimed at young girls aged 7 to 12. As more than 80 percent of 10-year-old girls are “afraid of being fat,” and with “body satisfaction” hitting rock bottom between 12 and 15, the idea behind the campaign is that some of these body image issues can be addressed as early as possible before things start to get rough (which we all know they will anyway, of course). Keep reading »
I have been achingly cool for almost as long as I can remember, but circa fifth and sixth grade was the absolute low point of my coolness. I know it’s hard to imagine, but I was really, really lame — I’m talking Hot Topic wardrobe, greasy hair, Transitions lenses … it was a rough couple of years. I was weird, and nobody wanted to middle school date me at a time when everyone was middle school dating, and I felt like a total loser. SUCH a loser! But a new study found that early-starting kids who began “dating” at an average age of 11.6 years were reported twice as likely to engage in abnormal or delinquent behavior as on-time (about 12.9 years) adolescents and late bloomers (14.9, holllllller), so maybe I’m better for it? Just kidding, I also engaged in these behaviors myself, but I am a scientific anomaly and also not a part of this study.
My real question is, what is this “dating” at age 11.6? I have no firsthand account, so I can only imagine it is limited to the awkward conversations across hallways and uncomfortable, clammy “hand-holding” that I served only witness to. Are these children allowed at one another’s homes? Don’t these kids have parents? Speaking of parents: parents, do not EVER purchase Transitions lenses for your school-aged children. Do you know what they call that? They call that FATES WORSE THAN DEATH. Social suicide, I’m telling you. [Gawker]
[Photo of happy smiling kids via Shutterstock]
Parenting: you’re doing it wrong.
Bakersfield, California, mother Frances Hena asked a local news station whether she was supposed to “whoop” her 11-year-old daughter instead, which was clearly the only other alternative to making young Jamie stand in a busy intersection with a sign reading, “I was disrespecting my parents by twerking at a school dance.” Hena thinks that publicly embarrassing her daughter will teach the kid not to twerk. Had she watched Miley Cyrus’ twerk-performance at the VMAs, she would understand twerkers are plenty capable of embarrassing themselves, thank you. Keep reading »
Being a teen is hard — but being a teen with really bad acne is positively suicidal, at least according to a new Norwegian study. Teens with bad skin are two times as likely to have suicidal thoughts, say researchers from the University of Oslo. The study examined the psychological habits of Norwegian teens. Fourteen percent of teens reported having “a lot” of acne, and of those, 25 percent said they had suicidal thoughts, compared to 11 percent of the overall teen population. Bad acne was also linked to a lower attachment to friends, and teens with acne tended to have fewer boyfriends and girlfriends, and do worse in school.
But — before you pull out the hanky in despair — it might actually be teens’ acne meds that are making them suicidal. A drug found in several anti-acne medication, Isotretinoin, has been linked to depression, suicide, and suicidal thoughts. So, basically, you’re damned if you have bad acne, and you’re damned if you try to do something about it. [CNN] Keep reading »