Cutting as Cool

For as long as I can remember, teenagers have been in pursuit of cool. The word “cool” has never gone out of style, as kids desire to fit in by adopting whatever it is that the cool kids are doing. In his new book, Girls on the Edge, Dr. Leonard Sax describes how girls today are pursuing cool in some very alarming ways. He recounts a conversation with an intervention specialist who has been working for years with girls who cut themselves as a way to deal with their emotional pain. Once limited to a very small and troubled fringe group of kids, cutting has moved into the mainstream. The intervention specialist told Dr. Sax that she is seeing a huge shift where cutting has become a social contagion. She says, “All the cool girls are doing it. They show off their cuts to the other girls, as a sign of how cool they are. It’s spreading like crazy.” Parents, you need to keep an eye on your kids. If you see signs of cutting and self-injury, be sure to get counseling help from a qualified Christian counselor.