DON'T BLAME THE TEENS - BLAME THE TRENDS
RUTH MCNAMARA ON THE CELEBRITY CULTURE THAT INFLUENCES TEENAGE LIFESTYLES
ONE OF the most common questions among parents and the elder generation today is, "What is it with teenagers always wanting the newer and the better?". Well, I've done some investigating, and I believe I may have found the answer.
With teenagers, our reason for wanting isn't because we genuinely want to have it. It's because we can. Who tells us, you might ask? Advertisements, of course. Advertisements are designed to persuade you to buy the product. Persuasion. Another way of saying it? Peer pressure, which teenagers are particularly susceptible to. By continuously repeating phrases such as: "And you can have this", or "All this can be yours", and "SALE! SALE! SALE!", teenagers will be tempted into getting the product. Ads in magazines have an effect on us too. Colours and witty slogans will make a teen remember the product, inspiring them to buy it. A teenagers attention is easily caught, so when we pass by shop windows, we will usually take a glance as to what is offered and if there is a sale on.
"If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me". This is a phrase teenagers will think when they see a celebrity wearing Canterbeury tracksuit pants while out jogging with their dogs, when they see Mischa Barton walking down the high street wearing a floral dress with a brown belt or when they see David Beckham wearing the new Predator football boots. Celebrities are our influences. If they have it, we want it. We may not be able to afford the exact clothing they wear, but we sure can afford the knock-offs, which happen to look the same as or are pretty close to. Wearing items of clothing that have been seen on celebrities, allow teens to feel better about their image, giving them confidence.
Our peers, our fellow teenagers, influence the styles we choose to wear. Whether it is going shopping down the main street, or cinema to see the latest movie, or even going to a disco or a gig, we will always take the time to notice what our friends have decided to put on. Are they wearing eye-liner and eye shadow? Have they put on boots or pumps? How have they done their hair? All of these are noticed and then mirrored slightly, yet adding our own twist to it. We will add the colour that suits us best, or our favourite pattern, to the outfit.
Our friends may also influence the sports we're into. Your friends play soccer and continuously talk about how well or bad Manchester United played, you will do the same to fit in. However, teenagers don't play sports just because their friends do.
I went out to my local sports club and asked some of the members about why they do sports. "For me," one soccer player said, "Sports isn't just a hobby. It's an escape from the stress in school and any other problems I may have". This told me, tha t sports can relieve pressure and be a free-time zone. The chairperson of the cub said, "Playing sport gives teenagers the chance to focus on the importance of physical fitness, along with the educational side to life". I pondered to myself then, why is it that some teenagers like some sports more than others? So I asked them. "It's not that I like soccer more than other sports, it's just that the soccer season lasts the longest. I'd play a variety of sports in school, and maybe hurling in the summer, but that's not to say I've any favourites", said a teenager.
So, what is it with teenagers always wanting the newer and the better? Everyone. There are influences all around us. Whether it's playing a sport, getting a pair of high-tops or wearing an Adidas hoodie, our inspiration came from the world around us. So don't blame us for keeping up the trend, because quite frankly, it is not our fault alone. It's everybody's.