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 like going to eat out because I like supporting local businesses.” –Female, 31, WA

Millennials are foodies, but brands might be missing the opportunity to target their plate obsessions. Only 11% of 18-29-year-olds feel like food advertising is aimed at them, according to a recent survey in the UK. If brands want to change that number, they’ll likely have to take a different approach: 47% of this age group uses social media for recipe inspiration (#foodporn) and they reportedly share pictures of food around three times a week. Ypulse’s own research has also found they are adventurous eaters, with 89% of 13-32-year-olds open to trying new foods. (Marketing Magazine)

Should students be learning while standing? Standing desks are becoming more common in the workplace, and now an elementary school in California is swapping out traditional desks for standing desks after the founders of San Francisco CrossFit discovered their own children were sitting for up to six hours a day. Studies have shown that using standing desks correlates with increases in both concentration and daily calories burned, and could dramatically help in the battle against childhood obesity. (Fast Company)

A new kind of hotel is attracting young consumers in droves by going minimalist and offering more affordable, interesting places to stay. These “select service” hotels are the fastest growing segment of the industry and big brands’ answer to Airbnb. The hotels accommodate Millennials’ travel preferences by cutting out amenities like room service, offering more social spaces, and incorporating local elements in food and design. (BuzzFeed)

Sometimes sex doesn’t sell. Abercrombie & Fitch has been known for pushing the boundaries of sexualized marketing, but have now announced that they’ll be stopping the use of shirtless models and sexy images on bags, in-store photos, and other marketing materials. The retailer will also be ending their policy to hire sales staff based on “body type or physical attractiveness.” The changes are a part of the brand’s focus on becoming more customer-friendly after falling out of favor with young consumers. (WSJ

The story of a 5-year-old’s transition from girl to boy has gone viral, sparking conversation around transgender children. The segment, “Jacob’s Journey,” has been viewed over 11 million times on the show’s Facebook page, and is a piece of NBCNightly News’ six part series examining how families raise transgender kids. Jacob Lemay was born female, but his family has embraced his male identification, saying, “He's a different person, he's becoming himself." (Business Insider)

By searching Ypulse.com, you can quickly find the Millennial and teen stats you need to get you up to speed on young consumers. Silver and Gold subscribers have access to thousands of insight articles, curated up-to-date Millennial news items, a live mobile and social Q&A network, and thousands of statistics of Millennials drawn from our monthly national survey of 13-32-year-olds. Your search can begin and end with us. (Ypulse)

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