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Don't Cut & Copy

by: Christina F., 12th Grade, Pine View School - Osprey, Florida
teacher: Retsy Lauer

Hatred is like a cut; it HURTS and leaves a scar.

quote by: Max F., 7th Grade, Sarasota Middle School - Sarasota, Florida
teacher: Moya Hanaway & Doug Abel

Artist Statement

As my peers and I come closer to adulthood, more and more of us feel the pressure and stresses of growing up and taking on real-world responsibilities. Mounting expectations about school, college, friends and popularity have driven many - myself included - into coping through unconventional ways. I, for the longest time, believed that I was not good enough. Under the stress of sports, academics, and social relations, I turned to cutting, bulimia, anorexia, and compulsive exercising. I came to be so unhealthy that the opposite effect of what I wanted occurred; my grades dropped, I came to think only to do well at sports, and I lost friends under the stupidity of my actions. I became more stressed as a result. After recovering from body dysmorphia and all the other issues I had succumbd to , I feel much happier, healthier, and satisfied with my life. 

I chose to bring up the subject of teen self-harm because it is more prevalent of an issue than we realize. Even the most unexpected people are hiding secrets of insufficiency or low self- esteem. We, as a society, need to embrace people for who they are, and amend our minds about stereotypical ideals. We must learn to be content as individuals and realize our value and the importance of being unique. Those who feel that self-harm is the only solution must understand there are other options. We, as a community, must let them know that we are here for support and will accept them for who they are. 

To me, embracing our differences means appreciating the gift of individuality and knowing that we must each break away from the mold society has created as the ideal and just be ourselves. In the words of Dr. Seuss, "Today you are you, that is truer than true. There's no one alive who is your than you."

THIS PANEL IS SPONSORED BY:

Gerri Aaron & Marvin Albert