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I AM in Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality

Topic: Body Image

Jul 19

Skin Deep: What You Need to Know about Tattoos

Posted By iamincontrol | July 19, 2018

A tattoo is a design on the body made by repeatedly inserting colored dye into the skin with a needle. If you’re thinking about one now or later, there are some important things to understand. Tattoos are permanent and laser removal can cost a lot. Some work places do not welcome tattoos, so it’s important to think about where a tattoo would be on your body and how easy it would be to cover. Legal restrictions are also important to consider – Iowa law does not allow people under the age of 18 to get a tattoo.

Tattoos also come with risks. Diseases like HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and skin infections can be passed through unclean, reused equipment. Some things to ask about prior to getting a tattoo include:

  • Are the artist and the studio both licensed?
  • Does the artist use new disposable gloves with each new person?
  • Does the studio have and use sterilization techniques such as an autoclave (a machine that uses steam, pressure, and heat to sterilize)?
  • Do their needles come from sealed, sterile containers?

Remember, you are in control. If you don’t get the answers you need, if you feel uncomfortable, or if anything looks unclean, you can find a different place for a tattoo.

For more info about tattoos, see

Jul 17

Coconut Oil Craze

Posted By iamincontrol | July 17, 2018

Coconut oil seemed to have popped up out of nowhere. It started appearing in grocery stores, in recipes and there’s been countless articles posted about how to use it for your hair and skin. But the question is, is it actually that good for you?

Coconut oil, when eaten raises “bad” cholesterol. It contains a high amount of saturated fat. At the same time, it raises “good” cholesterol since it’s a fat. Cholesterol is found in your blood and helps with body functions. According to experts, coconut oil is not as healthy as other cooking oils so it shouldn’t be your first choice. When cooking, you should try to use olive oil or vegetable oil when needed.

As for its beauty benefits, it might not be as good as some claim. Coconut oil doesn’t absorb very well into skin or hair. It sits as a layer on top. There are oils that are better for your hair or absorbing into the skin. Some examples are olive oil or castor oil. Castor oil also kills harmful bacteria which can help hair grow. Not all oils are equal but some of them can have major health benefits. If you’re looking to use oils for beauty, make sure to do some research on which one would be best. Coconut oil may not be the best choice for cooking or beauty right now, but research is still being done on it. Everybody is different though so remember, what works for one person may not work for another.

For more information of coconut oil and health, check out:

May 24

Why Brushing Your Teeth with Charcoal Can Actually Damage Your Teeth and Make Them More Yellow

Posted By iamincontrol | May 24, 2018

Have you seen the charcoal toothpaste that’s becoming popular? I’m talking about that black-colored crud people brush on their teeth to whiten them. While having white teeth is desirable, using charcoal isn’t the answer.

Dentists warn that charcoal likely destroys your enamel and erodes your teeth. And you know what the worst part is? Enamel doesn’t grow back. Once you lose it, it’s gone. Losing your enamel causes your teeth to darken and makes them more sensitive and prone to cavities. In addition to these things, charcoal toothpaste also doesn’t contain important ingredients such as fluoride, which protects your enamel from sugary and acidic foods and beverages.

Of course, we all still want whiter teeth. Luckily there are safer alternatives. The American Dental Association approves the use of several whitening toothpastes (see list here) as well as some whitening strips. Many dentists also offer professional whitening services. Probably the simplest solution, however, is to maintain healthy dental habits. Brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day and getting regular dental cleanings will help keep stains at bay the old fashioned way.

Apr 24

Why Detoxing and Cleanses Don’t Actually Work

Posted By iamincontrol | April 24, 2018

Many diet plans promise to rid your body of toxins and help you lose weight. But do they really work? One important thing to remember is that your body naturally cleanses itself. Your liver’s job is to help get any toxins out of your body. It isn’t necessary to buy specific products to detox it.

  • Juice cleanses often don’t provide the body with enough calories. The increased energy from doing a juice cleanse is likely the body’s response to being hungry and energizing you to find more food.
  • Activated charcoal is traditionally used to rid your body of poison, usually in an emergency setting. It won’t remove toxins from your blood because it can only affect your gastrointestinal system.

Since your body is already detoxifying itself, products only use the word “detox” as a way to get people interested in them. If you’re still worried about detoxifying your body, the best thing that you can do is eat a balanced diet that supports the work your body is already doing. Incorporating more foods with nutrients that support your immune system and liver is a much more effective (and more affordable way) to keep your body healthy.

For more information on detox diets and why they aren’t healthy, check out this link:

Apr 5

How to Ditch the Tanning Bed and Still Look Glowing for Prom

Posted By iamincontrol | April 5, 2018

Prom is coming up and we all want to look our best. We all know that tanning can lead to premature aging and skin cancer, but can tanning just this once really be all that bad? According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, just one tanning bed session increases your risk for melanoma, a type of skin cancer, by a whopping 20%! Still want a tanned look for prom? Here are some alternative ways to get that sun-kissed look:

  1. Sunless tanning lotion. Today’s lotions aren’t your mom’s lotions. These lotions have improved a lot over the years in smell, tint, and evenness. Follow the instructions to the T to avoid orange palms and streaks.
  2. Tanning towelettes. Towelettes work similarly to sunless tanning lotions but are easier to apply. You will get less bang for your buck, however.
  3. Spray/airbrush tan. Getting a professional spray tan is the best way to assure your tan is even. It also is more convenient since it only requires one application. For tips on how to get the most out of your spray tan, visit this link.
  4. All naturel. Of course, leaving your skin the way it is -is another option that is beautiful. To be fair, fair skin is actually becoming more popular on the red carpet. Stars such as Keira Knightly, Emma Stone, and Taylor Swift are often seen rocking their natural skin tone. Pale skin is classy and elegant. Work it!
Feb 6

Self-Confidence, Self-Worth, and the Key to Positivity

Posted By iamincontrol | February 6, 2018

Self-confidence, self-worth, and self-esteem, do you struggle with any of these? If so, you are not alone. I have always struggled with these personally. When you have these negative feelings about yourself and feel like you are not good enough it can affect your whole life in a negative way. Do you compare yourself with others frequently, or find things that you want to change about yourself? I can say that I do this too, but I am really working hard to change. I think that it is easier said than done to increase these starts by simply believing in yourself, and focusing on yourself instead of others.

I think that the power in which you live your life is all in your mindset. We have all probably heard someone tell us that “you can do anything you set your mind to.” As much as we might think that is just a basic saying, it is actually very true and important.

One quote that was said by Theodore Roosevelt that spoke to me is: “believe you can and you’re halfway there.” I think that it is very important to look at all of the amazing things that we have in our lives instead of looking at the things that we don’t have.

You can find more information on this topic at:

Dec 28

Stretch Mark Stress

Posted By iamincontrol | December 28, 2017

Stretch marks happen when skin is stretched and collagen production is messed up. Collagen is a protein that makes up the connective tissue of your skin. They can sometimes appear as red or purple lines that are indented or have a different texture than the rest of your skin.

Stretch marks happen to everyone. It’s easy to develop them on your body in parts where you are growing. People who are pregnant, body building, gaining weight, or entering puberty are all likely candidates to develop stretch marks. Stretch marks often appear on your thighs, hips, stomach, and arms. But because our skin is so elastic, stretch marks typically go away over time.

What to do?

  • Remember, stretch marks are natural and it means you are growing and developing
  • Typically, stretch marks fade over time and can even disappear
  • Steroid-containing ointments can be used to reduce signs of stretch marks
  • Some makeups can cover stretch marks as well
  • Try wearing more clothing coverage in those areas

Visit to find out more about stretch marks.

Check out this video from Buzzfeed to hear personal stories about accepting stretch marks on your body

Nov 9

Body Image Issues

Posted By iamincontrol | November 9, 2017

We can all be way too hard on ourselves, wishing for something to be different about ourselves. In today’s society the television and the internet are strongly influencing people on how they should look and how they should act. In high school, I started to feel very self-conscious about my weight so slowly day by day, I started to skip meals or only eat healthy food. Over just a couple weeks you could see significant weight loss, I looked very malnourished and unhealthy. I eventually realized that I should be able to eat what I want and still feel good about myself rather than hardly eating and being miserable. So I started to put weight back on, and funniest thing is I felt better about myself than I did when I was super thin. From then on, I decided that if I was going to lose weight I was going to do it the healthy way.

What is Body Image?

  • Your body image is how and what you think and feel about your body.
  • It includes the picture of your body you have in your mind, which might or might not match your body’s actual shape and size.

What are the Issues?

  • Teens feel pressure from family, peers or media to fit into a narrow idea of beauty and attractiveness.
  • Teens are often teased about the way they look.
  • Can feel like they have a body shape nowhere near the “ideal” body shape, or might have a different shape then their friends.
  • People worry about how others see them.
  • People look at themselves from the outside or compare themselves to others.
  • Low self-esteem can lead to moods and mood swings.
  • Lead to eating disorder or depression.
  • Can lead to more anxiety and stress.

Be a Positive Body Role Model

  • Make healthy eating and physical activity a part of your everyday life.
  • Appreciate your own body for what it can do, not for just how it appears.
  • Be proud about things about yourself, that aren’t just about your appearance.
  • Accept and value others for who they are, not how they appear or look.

Check out for more information!

Nov 7

Tanning Addiction

Posted By iamincontrol | November 7, 2017

People often tan because they are so worried about their self-image to others and themselves. They are self-conscious about having too pale of skin, too much acne, and eczema. They tan to achieve darker and clearer skin. Little do they know the moment they get into that tanning bed that they could be starting a tanning addiction.

Risk factors of tanning

  • Premature skin aging – wrinkles, lax skin, and brown spots
  • Skin cancer
  • Tanning addiction

My experience

Throughout middle school and even now I struggle with acne and eczema problems. In high school and middle school, many of my friends would ask me why I don’t try tanning to help it. I always responded with “my mom would never let me get into a tanning bed because it is not for your health.” But they continued to pressure me into going tanning, making me questions whether my generation only cares about their physical appearance. Through my lifetime, I have only been in a tanning bed once and it was the worse experience I have ever had. I ended up getting very burned to the point I couldn’t sit down right on my rear end because my skin was actually peeling. After this incident, I never got into a tanning bed again because I had researched more information about tanning which made me really look at the bigger picture. Yes, being tanner might make you look good now but down the road you will actually look more aged from the tanning.

To find out more about tanning and how it can become an addiction, check out

Oct 24

To the Bone; What You Need to Know Before Watching

Posted By iamincontrol | October 24, 2017

There’s a new movie on Netflix you might have seen called To the Bone. The movie is about a 20-year-old girl battling anorexia. Although this movie is meant to be entertaining, we must always look at programs with sensitive content with a critical lens. For those dealing with mental health disorders including eating disorders, specifically anorexia, this film can be particularly triggering. The film features at least three components that specialists advise never to show on screen to protect those with eating disorders. It’s not a bad idea to skip watching this movie all together if you have any hesitations about its content. Here are some facts about eating disorders:

  1. They are mental disorders. In the past, it was a common misconception that eating disorders came from a place of vanity. Today, widely recognized as a mental disorder by the general public, but the myth persists.
  2. They can affect anyone. Portrayals of eating disorders almost always depict women as sufferers. Anyone can develop an eating disorder despite gender or sexual orientation. Notably, many times characters suffering from an eating disorder on TV and movies are white. This is not representative. People from all races and ethnicities suffer, as well as, different religions.
  3. They come in many different forms. Anorexia Nervosa is categorized by refusal to maintain normal body weight, intense fear of gaining weight along with other symptoms. Bulimia Nervosa is categorized by reoccurring binge-eating, self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives and other medications, fasting, excessive exercise and more. Lastly, there is Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. A person could be diagnosed with this category if they fail to meet one of two criteria for either Anorexia or Bulimia Nervosa (Diagnostic Criteria).
  4. They are extremely dangerous. More people die from eating disorders than any other mental illness. A lack of adequate nutrition can ultimately lead to death, but 1 in 5 deaths of those with anorexia is the result of suicide (The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders).

Movies, music, theater works, TV shows or any entertainment should NOT be taken as factual. Please seek a doctor if you are having any mental health issues. Our Teenline is open 24/7, give us a call if you need someone to talk to at 1-800-443-8336. If you prefer to chat online, we are available Monday through Friday 8am-8pm via the link at the top on the website.

To learn more facts about eating disorders, visit: