This image depicts the reality of how exhausting life can be at times, bringing light to a struggle we all know. From an outsider’s point of view, you do not know exactly what the man is going through, but it is obvious that something he is experiencing in his life is weighing him down, withering away at his overall energy. As a person who has a very busy, stressful schedule as an AP student, employee, girlfriend, daughter, sister, etc., this photo speaks volume. After a long stressful week full of due dates and clock-in times, it is easy to let yourself feel so tired you could melt. This photo depicts how all people probably feel at times, even though we may not know exactly what it is they are going through.
— Mikayla, Bryant High School
Warnings About Getting Too Settled in Routines
To me, this image conveys how one’s life can easily fade away into a monotone way of living. And about how it is too easy for one’s life to become boring and uneventful with school or work. For me, I would feel this way because of school. I wake up everyday at the same time, just to go through the same eight classes for eight-ish hours every day. And after I’m done with that, I go home and continue to do schoolwork for varying amounts of hours every day, usually around two to three more hours. And once i’m finally done with all of that, I get a small amount of time to live my life I a way that I want to before I go to sleep just to wake up and repeat the whole process over again. It gets tiring and boring, and no one wants that. So I think that this image is saying to change up your life a little every now and then in order to prevent yourself from melting away into a monotonous lifestyle.
— Peter, Glenbard West HS, Glen Ellyn IL
I think that this image reflects the feeling that comes with a lack of motivation or inspiration. It’s the feeling of sluggishness that seems to accumulate in one spot, sticking us there like a melting popsicle on a hot sidewalk. When devout of motivation, it’s difficult to move out of a specific mindset. We usually tell ourselves that we simply can’t finish that overdue project, get outside, or even see friends and family, just because the lack of motivation makes those things seem impossible. It may even feel like holding ourselves up, at the very least, is impossible. This is when we feel stuck, both physically and mentally, and may experience ourselves “melting away” from the stress, pressures, or boredom of everyday life.
— Keweenaw, Glenbard West High School
Or the Importance of Caring for One’s Mental Health
I think the artist is trying to represent mental health. The image shows a man looking up while melting which can represent that he is just going through the motions of each day without thinking too much about it. When Covid-19 hit, we were on strict lock down and were limited on the places we were allowed to go. Due to this, some people may have felt like they were trapped at home, this can eventually lead to anxiety or depression. I can relate to this personally because during the second year of lock down, my mental health was really bad to the point where I had anxiety attacks every 2 days. Overall, the message I think the image wants to get across is to indulge in self care.
— Madeline, Hawkins High School, Los Angeles CA
I personally think that this can represent many things. But the main topic I thought about when I first looked at this was someone overwhelmed, drowning in their own thoughts. The peace shown in his eyes can be the uncontrollable urge to appear like you’re okay, or also the look you have when you’re looking inside your head, not in front of you. The melting eyes I feel represent the tears falling because of all the stress and sadness doubting yourself can cause. The melting head is like the feeling of losing your head, not being yourself anymore. And the casual pose could represent that this can be a daily thing for someone. That he is used to not feeling well everyday.
— Yosibel, Classical High School, RI
Melting along with his face are his eyes, which gives off the illusion of crying. And while crying is typically associated with sadness and negative emotions, I think it is worth mentioning that both of his eyes are looking up, symbolizing that there is hope in every situation. I believe that no matter what circumstances we are put through, we will always have it in us to pull through in the end. Whether you believe in a God or not, we are constantly being put to the test. Although we may feel discouraged and “melt,” it is up to us to make things right, and I believe we are all more than capable of doing so.
— Teak, Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC
The Melting Man Speaks
Sitting there staring. She’s at the front of the classroom going on a never ending spiel. On and on… American Revolution… John Locke… George Washington… Catching every couple words in a sentence. Feeling the walls start closing in on you. Keep eye contact. Keep nodding. Close your eyes, you’re being disrespectful. Wake up. Your head starts to become heavy every sound you hear in the room around you all blends together like everything is distant. Feeling like you’re drowning in a fog by yourself. Waiting for something to happen. Anything.
— Maya, Block 1, Hoggard High School Wilmington, NC