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A4 Waist Challenge

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by Camilla Podini

An A4 piece of paper and a photo camera. Common and harmless objects which are becoming the ground of a dangerous vortex, intended to attract many other ingenuous victims: A4 WAIST CHALLENGE.

This new and dangerous trend comes from Japan, and it consists in taking a picture of yourself putting on your waistline one of these papers used by artists to draw, which has a different role in this occasion.

The aim is showing a waistline thinner than the width of the paper, so it disappears behind the A4 piece which covers it perfectly. And it doesn’t matter front or back, written or plain, the essential is showing everyone your thinness.

When we think we passed it all, from selfies to food porn, here is a new mode more insidious than before.

Easy to judge, hard to understand.

Is it a challenge with other people or with ourselves? Proud, narcissism and cheek, or complex, insecurity and fixation?

Maybe the insecurity pulls us to face our complexes provoking unexpected reactions, which led to a fixation, to a myth on which we start focusing our attentions.

The most widespread mania is the one about  our body, which has to respect strict rules and skinny shapes: if this aspiration can be useful to stimulate young people to practice sport and physical activity, at the same time it can represent the first step toward worrying disturbs. Anorexia and bulimia, which affect young women who refuse food or self-induce vomit to avoid calories, are the most famous eating disorders, but they’re not the only ones.

Bigorexia is the obsession for the fitness, which can be obtained through extended ans exhausting physical trainings, or through the excessive control of the food. In this case the victims are mostly male, who take ambiguous and unknown pills to improve their muscular appearance and tone.

A healthy habit like sport can turn into physical and psychological disturbs when a simple passion change into a worship.

Sometimes the excessive care of our body is an escape and a way to break down our insecurities and lack of self-esteem, sometimes someone’s else judgement caused uneasiness and fear, or sometimes media influence makes us feel rejected.

The pressure that television, magazines and social network have on teenagers’ lives and minds is becoming bigger and bigger: models and shapes they show us, always perfect and gorgeous, turn into rules that we are supposed to respect to maintain credibility and worth.

The plans that featured and distinguished generations in the past are levelled now, and are creating myths like the fitness one which links teenagers and influences us so much that we create insidious manias like the A4 Waist Challenge.

We all are annoyed by similar attitudes, but we all are influenced by them. We all want to feel comfortable without using these ways, but we all keep judging others. And “ALL” can represents the cure: we face these situations alone, forgetting other people are feeling the same doubts and insecurities. Confiding, helping and exposing our feelings is the right way to avoid the vortex.

Actual society has set into teenagers’ minds the myth that thinness means beauty, leading us to find out more and more dangerous ways to show it, forgetting that qualities as intelligence, creativity and bravery make the difference.

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JUNIOR AMBASSADORS/Does Europe belong to young people?

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THE EPAS PROGRAMME Progetto EPAS

What is the European Union?
And the European Parliament?
How does one become a European citizen?

These are some of the questions we often try to answer when we hear talking about Europe. Simple questions, but ones that allow us to understand and participate in something that goes beyond geographical and cultural borders.
However, it is not always so clear to find answers to such questions.
It is precisely for this reason that our school has joined the EPAS (European Parliament Ambassador School) programme, a project that aims to inform young people about the EU and the opportunities it offers them, about its activities and those of MEPs.

Specifically, this project allows students in a class to become ambassadors of the European Parliament, thus becoming promoters of knowledge about the EU in their schools and on social media.
The class that has been designated as an ambassador of the European Parliament is the 4Clng class of the Rapallo site.

A JOURNEY OF MANY MEETINGS 

During the second part of the year, class 4Clng took part in a number of in-depth meetings on the European Union.
First of all, the class had the opportunity to take part in an online meeting with the Italian representation of the European Parliament. Thanks to this meeting, the students were able to reconstruct, through an engaging and stimulating dialogue, the history of the European Union and the role of its institutional bodies.

Afterwards, the class took part in a meeting with a representative of the Antonio Megalizzi Foundation, the journalist and staunch pro-European who lost his life in the 11 December 2018 attack in Strasbourg. The representative of the foundation gave an interesting speech on what advantages a European citizen enjoys, especially when he or she moves from one member country to another.

Afterwards, the young ambassadors attended the presentation of the book ‘All for one – 33 stories to fall in love with Europe’ by Enrico Franceschini. In the book, he tells thirty-three stories about not only the countries that are part of the European Union, but also those that could become one or those that were and are no longer. This detail thus gave rise to a pleasant discussion in the meeting about what characteristics and traditions distinguish each European country and how the European union might change in the years to come.

To conclude the project, the class organised “La festa dell’Europa”, a day full of speeches and debates both with young people who are getting to grips with EU issues thanks to their university activities, and with high-profile personalities in the field of the European Union and popularisation, such as Gianluca Saba, head of the Europe Direct Centre in Genoa, Antonio Polito, deputy editor of “Il Corriere della Sera”, and Federico Rampini, journalist, writer and columnist of “Corriere della Sera” from New York.

WHAT DO THE YOUNG AMBASSADORS THINK OF THEIR EXPERIENCE?

At the end of a long, interesting and stimulating journey of discovery and deepening of the European Union, we asked the Junior Ambassadors to tell us their thoughts on the journey. Here there are their answers:

“I really enjoyed the training course we undertook with the representative of the European Parliament, who told us about the history and functions of the European institutions. I believe that this course helped us to grow in our sense of belonging to the European Union.”

– Giovanni Di Lauro

“At the end of this training course I can say that I know the European Union, an institution that allows me to live better, travel and experience.”

– Federico Raggio

“This experience has taught me what it means to be a European citizen; it involves not only rights but also duties and I feel I have become more aware of them.”

– Letizia Oneto

“Throughout the whole Europe Day I had a lot of food for thought about what my future will be and the importance of my choices. In particular, the variety of interlocutors (journalists, geopoliticians, professors, former students) allowed me to delve into the most diverse aspects of the European Union. I was very happy to have participated in this day which helped me a lot to better understand the country I live in.”

– Camilla Censori

“Thanks to this experience I learned a lot about the European Parliament and its functions, but what I really understood was what it means to be a European citizen. We are all part of this community even if sometimes we don’t realise it. We must not only ‘think Italian’ but we must ‘think EUROPEAN’.

– Martina Lautanio

“Thanks to this experience I learnt many things about the European Union that I didn’t know before. All the meetings were interesting and made me understand what it means to be a European citizen.”

-Martina Moggia

“My experience during these months made me realise how beautiful the European Union is and how lucky I am to live within an institution that was born to protect my rights. I can now say that I know many more facets of the European Union.”

– Alice Gucciardo 

“Thanks to this experience, in which we had the privilege to participate, we learnt and got to know all the rights and opportunities that the European Union offers us, and talked with important people about current issues and values that are often not given the right importance.”

– Giorgia Marcassoli

“Thanks to the various guests proposed by the school and our teachers we learnt something more about the country we live in; aspects that we often all take for granted.”

– Alice Dallorso

“The path undertaken to get to know the European Union has been a great source of culture for me; it has certainly helped me to understand more precisely what the European Union actually is.”

– Giulia Queirolo

“These meetings allowed us to stay more together as a class and share our opinions on various topics.”

– Ludovica Cassola

“The resourcefulness and perseverance of the young people who took part in the various meetings, the care taken in the explanations by the great speakers, but above all the passion of our lecturers were a great inspiration for me, so much so that I realised that this experience is only the beginning of a much bigger adventure.”

– Elisa Bona

“The experience was very important and very useful in making us understand and feel part of the European Union, thanks also to the various guests who helped us to analyse the positive and negative sides of Europe and explained how the situation could improve.”

– Francesco Garbarino

“All the meetings, and especially the last one, served to instil even more strongly in me – and I believe in the whole class – a curiosity for international issues concerning the EU, such as the delicate situation with Russia that we talked about so often.”

– Roberta Olivari

“Especially from the first meeting we had with the Italian representative of the European Parliament, I was very impressed and enjoyed being able to hear about the history and developments of the European Union.”

– Filippo Saudino

“These meetings have directed me, and all of us, to see new things, situations and to see the world in different ways, and this has led us to grow in everything.”

– Eva Cantoni

“It was really interesting, curious and exciting to participate in this project. Getting to know the faces of the surnames you often hear on TV or that are written in books, getting to know new realities, new jobs led me to a desire to enrich my knowledge and broaden my horizons.”

– Guia Bertolone

“The meeting with the Italian representative of the European Parliament, the meetings with the Megalizzi Foundation and finally the Europe Day were magical occasions to learn more about the European Union, very interesting for our path as Junior Ambassadors and essential for our future.”

– Nicolò Crippa

“This course has helped our entire class to have a greater appreciation of those around us, to broaden our horizons, but above all to be able to think and aspire to goals that are only possible with a united community committed to offering as many opportunities as possible to young people who dream of a bright future.”

– Axel Armijos

“The discovery of the laws that regulate this union and the rights and duties that this entails for all citizens allowed me to truly realise that I live in a united community, in which all the member states that are part of it work together for the process and the common good. This feeling of cooperation is alive in European citizens and this experience helped me to develop it in turn.”

– Marta Sormani

We can therefore conclude by saying that this course was particularly fascinating thanks to the passion and dedication shown by the guests and teachers throughout the training of the young European Parliament ambassadors; an experience that will certainly remain etched in the history of our school.

 

 

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An insight into body dysmorphia and body image: the struggle of “never being enough”

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il

Nowadays the “ghost” of body dysmorphia is following more and more people, mostly teens, every single day due to a constant overrating of people’s body images by society. All over social medias, it is common to see skinny and muscular models promoting an ideal body shape that should utopistically fit everyone. This influence has been causing several problems to young people, which are still learning to accept and appreciate their own bodies, related to body image, body dismorphya and, in the worst case scenarios, eating desorders.

(altro…)

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Guantanamo Bay detention camp : the shame of U.S.A

Pubblicato

il

Guantanamo Bay detention camp is an United States’ military prison located on the coast of Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Amnesty International considers it as a major violation of human rights, indeed this prison is known in particular for its mysterious ways of detention and treatment of prisoners.

Obama, during his political campaign in 2009, declared he would have closed the prison and during his second day as President of United States he signed an executive order which imposed the closing of the military base in Cuba by the end of the year. However this good intention fell into oblivion…

Quite all the inmates of Guantanamo have been accused of providing information to terrorists, an action considered as a “crime of war” in 2008. The following year Obama approved a reform, contained in the Military Commission Act of 2009, which prohibited torture as a way in order to obtain evidences and the use of “evidences by hearsay”.

According to lawyers, torture is the “original sin” of Guantanamo. As a consequence, the government was forced to create and adopt a new systeme of rules with the aim of hiding all the mistreatments  and abuses suffered form the prisoners. Nobody had to know what happened inside that place of horrors… Nobody had to find out about histories such as those of Khalid Sheck Mohammed or Mustafa Al-Hasawi who was submitted to the rehydratation by rectal pathway.

Another torture regards force-feeding of hunger strikers through large feeding tubes which are shoved up their noses and down in their stomaches. This procedure obviously violates World Medical Association and American Medical Asociation.

In Guantanamo there’s a deep mysterious atmosphere. Quite everything is clissified and defendants don’t have the possibility of discussing with their lawyers, even if it regards their situation. Moreover lawyers are not allowded to make public any declarations of their clients. It seems that prisoners’ memories belong only to the nation which has the right to handle it.

Nowadays in Guantanamo torture and brutal interrogations have come to an end, however the torture of being imprisoned in an isolated place without legal assistence continues…

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