The Social Network of Self-Harm

Amidst the call-to-action for issues such as bullying, texting and driving, and substance abuse among teens lies an issue that remains hidden in social network feeds and under sweatshirt sleeves: self-harm. In a group of ten teens, at least one is self-harming, whether through eating disorders or physical injury. We know what these behaviors look like—cutting, starving, purging, criticizing—but more than one-fourth of young adults consciously avoid talking about these subjects and one in six parents of teens admit to avoiding the topic of mental illness. Though teens and parents share age-old experiences of adolescent angst, previous generations were without the constant barrage of images from the internet of physical (albeit Photoshopped) perfection, pro-ana websites, and self-injury how-to forums. The dark side of the internet promotes these activities and sets a grave stage for Millennials to escape from external pressures.
 
Millennial author Anna Caltabiano’s dystopian novel All That Is Red has gained recognition for giving a voice to self-harming teens and a glimpse at how for some “the intimate euphoria of pain can sometimes be all we have to remind us that we are alive.” The book is not meant to be autobiographical, but the adventure story integrates the topics of self-harm and isolation through the trials of its young female heroine. In writing All That Is Red, Anna set out to battle the stigma surrounding self-harm, an issue that is “always there, not just in the United States, but all over the world and we as a society still feel like it isn’t acceptable to discuss it.”

Caltabiano describes self-harm as “inflicting pain on yourself just to concentrate on this one thing you can control,” both feeding and numbing the isolation that teens feel in an increasingly fragmented…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I was given ties and a vest this past holiday season.” –Male, 15, MO

Dove continues to be a leader in body-positive, girl power advertising, and they’re tackling a new beauty issue: curly hair. Their new ad begins by informing viewers that only 4 out of 10 curly haired girls think their hair is beautiful, so the call-to-action shows mothers and friends embracing their natural texture to inspire more confidence in young girls. The commercial features several females of color, promoting Dove’s message to encourage all women “regardless of race or ethnicity” to “embrace their curl type." (TimeAdweek

Millennials and teens want the marketing on their social platforms to match the content they already see there. To that end, Tumblr has handpicked a group of their site’s successful artists to join the Creatrs Network, which will help brands to create ads that fit in naturally on Tumblr’s GIF and image-heavy feeds. The group will work with advertisers to create nonintrusive ads that “its users never even notice,” and that are so attractive they will hopefully want to share. A small part of the Creatr Network works on “GIFing major events,” and Tumblr says that it has already paid $250,000 to these members. (The Verge)

15-year-old Ben Pasternak created the addictive mobile game Impossible Rush, which received over 500,000 downloads in six weeks, and now Google, Facebook, and Yahoo all want a piece of him. Patsternak stood out among the 450 Millennials accepted to Hack Generation Y, a hack-a-thon in which teams of young entrepreneurs create a product in a mere 36 hours. Pasternak’s team worked to re-code and revamp his social aggregator app One. The teen is one to watch in the tech world: he hopes to have an internship in the U.S. and said of his secret side project, “Watch out, eBay.” (Mashable)

Tapping into vloggers and bloggers has become a common, lucrative practice for brands looking to capture young consumers. L’Oréal Paris has launched “The Brush,” it’s first global video contest to find the digitally savvy new face of their brand. Beauty designers can upload a three-minute video demonstrating their talents to be judged by a panel of experts that will include popular YouTube beauty content creators. The brand is looking for a makeup artist that will help create shoots and beauty tutorials, represent the brand, and design high-end looks for everyday women. (Adweek)

The number of babies born to teens annually fell by 38.4% between 2007 and 2013, and while these numbers are obviously celebrated, the reasons for the drop remain a mystery. It is possible that a “perfect storm” of cultural, educational, and economical factors is responsible: Researchers point to high unemployment creating a climate that breeds more cautious behavior in teens, innovative sex-ed programs, and TV shows like Teen Mom as possible factors. The release of the iPhone may even receive some credit by making information on the internet more accessible, as well as driving kids to hang out less in real life. (Vox

Have some lingering questions about Millennials that you need answered for an upcoming meeting? That’s what Ypulse is here for. Silver and Gold subscribers have access to Ypulse's trend and Millennial experts for quick, personalized feedback on any topic. After each insights article, subscribers can submit questions and requests directly to our experts and receive instant responses. (Ypulse)

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