Teenagers social media mindset

It isn’t worth trying to change the world, it is enough not letting the world change you

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Growing up is a hard thing to do. Having a younger sister, makes me remember and realise the effort it takes as a teenager not to crumble under social and media pressures. Society has this ideal of perfection which is pushed upon us through television, magazines, marketing and pop stars. It’s a wonder women and men are able to even surface the light of day to show our weary faces?

Fortunately I have a wonderful teenage sister, she suffers from the odd insecurity and self-doubt that surrounds all teens, having arguments in school, being ignored and rejected by your peers at some level. Maybe she doesn’t think the latest boy is cute or want to engage in the general silliness of teenagers, she is very sensible, but I think  growing up with 3 older sisters has given her better coping skills better than most. We constantly remind her how important, beautiful and special she is. She knows that in life there is more important things than what lipstick you wear to school or what boy notices you in science. Obviously on some level she does care but she concentrates on her future mainly. She focuses on achieving her grades to be better. I think coming from a single parent family she has the ethos from my mum and us, her sisters that you have to work hard In life to get the job you love, enjoy and can earn good money in.

Often, she says that she doesn’t feel pretty and I can’t help blame Instagram, Facebook and the media for this lack of self belief. I have Instagram myself but I think growing up in an era without it, it wasn’t part of my social development, so I didn’t base my self worth around how many likes or dislikes I received from social platforms. Teenagers these days grow up with social media, therefore it is impacting their psychosocial development. Now more than ever, youngsters become reliant on self-esteem boosts from Instagram and Facebook to fund their self-worth.
Self-worth should be taught from a loving family unit where they instil the idea of beauty as a multi faceted ideal. This ideal is one that incorporates good manners and treating people politely and learning that the world is filled with people of different creeds, looks and demeanors. They learn that people do not deserve to be judged soley by the way they appear. Judgement happens quickly. I’m as guilty as the next at judging too quickly, but we should be trying harder to teach our teens who live in a world of validation through virtual products, that self-development and beauty is all but skin deep.

We all have worries. I dye my hair and take enjoyment in dressing up to look nice, but over the years I’ve learnt that I can’t get happy by looking for validation from others. I just wish teenagers would learn this too.

Social media should be taken out of kids hands and only introduced later in their development. How can we do that now, when the world is all about trending on Twitter and who gets the most likes on Facebook? We are all guilty so how can we break the cycle of our teenagers basing beauty on the amount of likes they get on their current Instagram photo.

Let us all take a moment and remember that beauty is skin deep.

Shopping use to be fun . . . .

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Once upon a time . . . . . . .  shopping use to be fun . . . . . . .  until now!

I have always been somewhat slim. My family carry the skinny gene and I haven’t in hind sight ever had to worry really about my weight. As a youthful teen and early 20 something I would carelessly eat what I wanted without a thought to the waist line and what havoc it could cause if I hadn’t been so kindly blessed with good genes. I was always one of those annoying people who you want to knee jerk when they say, ‘ah, I never exercise I eat what I want,’ and I did, I still do to some extend. But nowadays my downfall is I have an awful addiction to fast food, fried chicken to be exact. Last night I consumed so much pizza it felt like it was trying to climb back up out of my throat this morning to say hello, to show me just how much my body hates me for subjecting it to a torrid of fast food abuse. So fast food is my downfall, I do try my best to eat the fruit of the earth and act as if my body is my temple, but sometimes this temple gets tempted and unlike the snake in the garden of Eden it’s not the apple that tempts me, it’s that hash brown that McDonald’s so loving makes that gets me excited and willing to forget all good intentions. Only if I had self-control, only if I could control my urges, but I am weak and I am easy, not easy like that, but I am easily tempted, damn temptations and pepperoni slices! Anyway, due to my skinner demeanor in life shopping for clothes was always pretty easy, but something has happened over the last few years and shopping is no longer the fun expedition it once was, gasp of horror, shopping not fun! Yes the fun has somewhat been drained out of this girly adventure that fulfills my materialistic urges. I no longer flounce around shops whimsically trying on everything that takes my fancy. Now I try things on with the fear and trepidation that I will have to, gasp, go a size up because I get the dress stuck on my body and I end up popping the zip to just get it off, then running out of the shop before someone can see that I am just not accepting the fact I am no longer a wee whippet. But what gets me the most nowadays is, I am not much bigger than I once was (or I am and I am just in the seven stages of grief and I am stuck in denial) but clothes shopping is ten times harder than it use to be.

Shopping for clothes seems to be something now that takes effort and allot  more time than I want to spend. Brands seem to tailor their clothes for that of children who have no womanly curves to vouch for. Topshop is a killer, I rarely go in there nowadays for fear of coming out suicidal. It seems shops cater to the whippets more than the average joe’s shape, why is this? What also annoys me is that it seems we all use to be one universal size, but now it depends on the brand on what size you may need, how so very tiresome. The idea that I have to remember my size in different shops sends my shopping euphoria into despair as I have to now try on three sizes in the changing room, where I then due to the sheer exertion they are asking of me I melt into a frenzied sweat. What’s fun about trying on the same outfit three times just to get the right size, nothing I tell you, It just sends you mad and a bit moronic.

Prime example of a shopping nightmare is when I went into Brown Thomas and I inquired about a heavily discounted dress and what size I should get and the women then told me it depended on the make and where it was from and that it just differs from make to make, as she wabbled on I just felt the life in me get sucked out, such an arduous task, when did shopping become a task?  I wish for the days I was joyous about shopping, when I’d pick something from the hangar and take it home without having to return it.

In the end I just find shopping boring most the time nowadays, it’s no longer as fun as it should be. I no longer get that thrill of the hunt, instead exasperation at the shear task in front of me, endless changes in the same outfit to find one that will fit nicely instead of hang in all directions that make me look undesirable. I wish I was 18 again and everything  just fit, but alas, I must get use to this getting older and everything just getting more unsuitable. It seems by the time I am 30 I may have to don binliners because the effort may just kill me.

So next time I go shopping I ask one thing from all the brands I so lovingly buy! Stick to one size code, you’re wrecking my head.