As the mom of a 13-year-old daughter, I took time recently while visiting one of the giant retail bookstores to check out the section on parenting teens. I expected the normal array of books on how to talk to teens about body image, discipline, and, perhaps, dating. While some of these existed, the largest topic taking up shelf space was on something completely different. Rows of books detailed the heartbreak of teens who engage in self-injury.
According to the Mayo Clinic, self-injury is usually the result of an inability to cope in healthy ways with deep psychological pain. And while the most prominent form of self-injury — “cutting” — itself is not a disorder, it can be a symptom of serious psychological problems, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or borderline personality disorder.
The onset of self-injury tends to begin in the pre-teen to teen years and mainly affects girls. Cutting is a tragic effort to relieve emotional pain by inflicting physical pain.
Honestly, I don’t think of myself as a person who is easily shocked, but the sheer volume of books dedicated to the topic took my breath away. I left praying for God’s protection for my daughter in one more area of life and saddened for those children struggling with this dangerous behavior.
But the shock I felt that day is nothing compared to the outrage I feel now at the mall accessory retailer Claire’s Stores, Inc. — or Claire’s as they are commonly known.
You’ve seen them packed with giggling pre-teens trying on inexpensive jewelry and getting their ears pierced. Sounds innocent, right? Well, not so much. Apparently, there is a buck to be made off of teenage cutting.
I read something recently that suggested Claire’s is hyping the practice by promoting razor blade jewelry to their pre-teen and teen customers. Surely this had to be inaccurate? No responsible company is that morally bankrupt! However, this past weekend, a Concerned Women for America employee confirmed our worst suspicions.
Claire’s prominently sells razor blade jewelry.
This is particularly outrageous, considering a July 2010 study conducted by a psychologist at the University of North Carolina found that peers have great influence over whether or not their friends engage in self-injury. Imagine the impact among young girls if they believe cutting is “the cool thing to do” because their friends are wearing razor blades as jewelry.
It is undeniably shocking to learn that children in our culture are so desperate that they resort to cutting themselves with razor blades in a plea for help. But let me tell you, this is so shameful that I haven’t the words — and if I did they would not be printable here or in any of the parenting books that started me on this subject. I find it vile, disgusting, and depraved that adults stoop to profiteering from a child’s pain and illness as Claire’s has done in this instance. Shame on Claire’s!
Feel free to contact Claire’s Stores, Inc., to give them our own choice words on the matter.
Claire’s Stores, Inc.
3 S.W. 129th Avenue
Pembroke Pines, FL 33027
Customer Service: 800-252-4737
Headquarters Phone: 954-433-3900
Headquarters Fax: 954-433-3999
Customer Service E-mail: [email protected]
Marketing Dept. E-mail: [email protected]