Apparently Bieber fever has a new symptom: emotional blackmail. Justin Bieber is eighteen years old and supposedly last week smoked a joint. In response, his fans (prompted by a cruel hoax) have taken to Twitter in the #cutforbieber campaign, which at its core says “you stop doing drugs, we’ll stop cutting”.
The internet has been flooded with images of mutilated arms, real and fake, in a strange bid to save Bieber from himself. The trolls that started this are sick and have a lot to answer for.
This whole situation brings up a number of problems, the most serious of which is the way it has thrust cutting into the public eye whilst simultaneously downplaying its severity, and, even worse, making it the butt of jokes. Those who started encouraging fans to “cut for Bieber” but they couldn’t have picked a more vulnerable target.
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Naturally! Doesn’t everyone sending a photo to grandma, of their 2 year old playing on the beach this Christmas season, want it to self-destruct in 10 seconds? Quick, get your specs grandma – oops too late.
Predictably, both Snapchat and Facebook deny any inappropriate intent in designing the app. Snapchat’s designer, Evan Spiegel, downplayed the ‘nudes’ phenomenon saying that a few seconds of looking at a picture is unlikely to get anyone going. In fact, he even added in a clever hack to the app, so that it actually alerts the user when a recipient takes a screenshot of one of their snaps. The very act that such a ‘safety net’ is needed should set our alarm bells ringing. But what safety does it actually provide? If a teen girl sends a nude picture to someone, and then receives an alert of a screenshot, what do Facebook (or Snaphat) think she will do? Tell someone?
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If there had been a sorting hat at my high school it would have asked two questions: Have you seen all six Star Wars films and have you ever been pashed.
Depending on which question got a “yes”, the wearer would be ushered to the geeks or the cool crowd. If they had a firm understanding of what a sorting hat actually was, they’d go direct to the geeks.
I was quick work for the hat. I’d seen every Star Wars film five times and wore a Darth Maul t-shirt to the opening of The Phantom Menace. Thankfully no need for the second question.
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When you’re thirteen years old there’s a small but very definite list of things that you hate with ferocious intensity: homework and rules.
That means there are few worse things to be told when you’re 13 than, “Do your homework!” Especially by someone who is being paid to look after you.
But that’s exactly what happened in California this week, where according to Gawker a 13 year old boy threatened his babysitter with a kitchen knife when she asked, more than once, if he’d started his homework.
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Tomorrow, my darling, you turn 12; a girl, still. But sometime when I wasn’t paying attention, the pudgy-cheeked baby skipped away and here you are, a soft sketch of the woman you’re going to be.
I want to freeze-frame you so I can say all the things I’ve missed, that the words may be indelibly inked like a suit of armour around your soul. But soon it’ll be your own voice, not mine, that matters most. So here’s something to pop in your pocket or file on your bedroom floor: 12 things I want you to know on your 12th birthday.
Your body is the only one you’ll ever have. How blessed are you, that it works perfectly and has barely given you a moment’s pain. Some people aren’t so lucky, so respect it – even when those around you are hating theirs. I can’t protect you from the stinging winds of the beauty storm about to strike your shores, but don’t take the weather with you. Photographs, as we’ve shown you, are not truth.
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“Forbidden fruit” is powerfully alluring, especially for teenagers. Researchers have discovered that when children and adolescents are “forbidden” from drugs, media consumption, and even certain peer relationships, they will resist those limits and assert their independence.
If you tell a teen not to do something you almost ensure that as soon as your back is turned, they’ll be experimenting, investigating, poking, prodding, inhaling, swallowing, or otherwise trying to experience whatever was just deemed contraband.
This is partly due to teenagers’ basic desire for autonomy. “You can’t tell me what to do.” Another reason is that humans’ pre-frontal cortex (which is the part of our brain responsible for executive function and forward planning) does not fully develop until our early twenties.
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The United Nations World Drug Report 2012 has found that Australian and New Zealanders consume more marijuana per capita than any other country.
The findings of this report are unsurprising.The proliferation of cannabis among underage Australians is shocking. Marijuana is easier for a 16 year old to acquire than any other illegal substance.
In Australia it is illegal for a person under 18 years to buy alcohol and tobacco. Marijuana unlike alcohol and cigarettes is not regulated, making it more accessible for underage persons. It’s not uncommon to hear of people as young as 14 smoking marijuana.
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Today The Punch team has each selected two issues which get us hot under the collar, and which we feel deserve more airplay.
What are your thoughts on the issues we’ve chosen? And what other issues do you think we should all be talking about?
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Click on the video below. I dare you. If you’re brave enough, watch it all the way to the end.
Eck. It probably doesn’t “light up your world like nobody else” does, but you’re hardly the target audience. Over the past few months the hit song of visiting teenybopper supergroup One Direction has lit up the musical worlds of the 8 to 16 year female demographic. Simultaneously, it’s lit a fuse of ridiculousness that’s threatening the sanity of Australian parents and people of good music taste alike.
The national tweenage hysteria alert level rose to amber yesterday as the band, cobbled together by pop mastermind Simon Cowell, flew into the country for a concert series and a gig at the Logie Awards.
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With a blockbuster film adapted from a popular book series, hot young cast and devoted fans, the dystopian epic that is The Hunger Games was always going to be compared to that other huge franchise, Twilight.
The books might sell the same theme: Teens vs the world. But they’re different where it counts.
After having to swallow Twilight’s mellow and passive lead heroine Bella, her Hunger Games counterpart Katniss comes as a breath of fresh ass-kicking air. Finally, there’s a popular teen heroine who can kick butt without a dude by her side.
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Teenagers are idiots, most of the time. They do incredibly stupid things. Hormones, drugs, alcohol, and a not-yet fully formed idea of their actions’ consequences means they screw up. A lot.
So, there’s this 17-year-old girl with a lot to say about the AFL. About sex and older men and power and betrayal. She may have won Ricky Nixon’s scalp - there is speculation he is now stepping down after confessing to “inappropriate dealings” with her.
On paper, this is a great story of the little guy (girl) standing up to the big bully boy. In reality it’s a teenager. A teenager who has now outed herself – or been outed – on 60 Minutes. There are reports she was paid a five-figure sum. Which isn’t really that much, when you think about it.
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I’m not sure what we called “body image” as an issue before it was called “body image.”
It’s certainly not a new thing. When I was a teenager it was everywhere, we just didn’t have a name for it, so I don’t think we thought of it as an “issue”, just part of being an adolescent.
Now it’s not just an issue, it’s the biggest issue, according to the latest Mission Australia national Survey of Young Australians. Asked to rank a whole list of issues of personal concern, 31.1 per cent of the 50,240 people aged 11 to 24 years named body image a “major concern”. In the 20-24-year-old cohort the figure was 40.3 per cent.
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One surefire way of knowing you’ve officially become an old man is when you catch yourself coming out with a “kids these days…” rant. Well I’ve recently discovered that I am now among that special group of people with unending old school wisdom.
I’m mourning the demise of what I call the “respect your elders” values of kids today. But I don’t blame them. I blame a new generation of mamby-pamby (not sure that’s a real term but you know what I mean) parents who want to be a child’s friend rather than a parent.
I’ve had these concerns for a while, but they’ve been brought to a head by a couple of recent incidents.
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Don’t you just hate it when you forget to reinforce your beachfront apartment with barb-wire fencing?
Yep, it’s that time of the year again when “well-to-do” grown ups quietly mutter under their breaths that every 16-year-old in Surfers Paradise should be tasered in the face. Cars explode and cinder blocks are thrown through Harvey Norman windows as teenagers in leather jackets have sex on the street while homeless guys wave “end is nigh” signs around.
Rubber bullets zoom through the air and Wicked vans are rolled as the Prime Minister is taken by Blackhawk to an underground security facility at Alice Springs. I’m talking (of course) about Schoolies.
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Sydney barely averted a potentially violent mob scene last week that would have been caused by 5 foot 3 of trouble, namely the floppy-haired, permanently smirking boy-child chanteur, Justin Bieber.
While last Monday’s pheromone-fuelled fracas may have gotten all the attention, it’s another group of staunch Bieberites who are more a case for concern.
Peer a little closer and the Justin Bieber show isn’t all rainbows and hair gel. Somehow this boy with his ridiculous forward-swept mop of hair has, consciously or not, crossed into largely uncharted, sexually-confused territory in the popular culture maelstrom.
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Remember the Alanis Morissette song Ironic?
It was pretty popular around the time I was introduced to alcohol and it also rang in my ears as I read that researchers at Liverpool John Moores University in the UK are advising an “alcohol allowance” to help prevent today’s teens from “falling into …the binge drinking trap”.
That’s right. They believe it’s inherently safer for teenagers to be given alcohol rations from their parents than be left to their own devices, hooking up with friends and buying from pubs or off-licences with a fake ID.
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An American company has announced that it will now make available in Australia kits that will let parents test their children for drug use.
The drug testing kits use samples of hair to test what drugs and how often kids could be using them.
The company, Confirm Biosciences, has circulated a statement claiming that the new kits will put “control back in parents’’ hands
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