Pressures & Posers
By Erika, age 14, Florida
How many times have you come home exhausted from school, and all you wanted to do was sit down on the couch and watch TV? When a self-conscious teenager watches TV all they see is the perfect body that all the celebrities and teen idols have. Even if some people don't want to admit it, deep down inside everyone wants that body. Most girls between the ages of 13 and 18 are already very self-conscious about how they look, and more importantly how everyone else looks.
If you are in high school or middle school you know the pressure put on you by your peers to look and act like everyone else. Many people cave in to peer pressure and will do just about anything to fit in. Everyone wants to have friends and fit in, because people say friends help you survive and deal with problems that are usually very hard to deal with alone. Most people can't resist this pressure because it's everywhere. And in reality everyone wants to fit in. Being self-conscious is a very big issue because it opens a hole of vulnerability.
People will try to get you to do things that will usually only benefit themselves, or else hurt you or someone else. It will almost never benefit you. People will try to take advantage of you if they know you will do anything to fit in. Our job is to say, You know what? I'm fine with myself.
You see something on TV - a product, a celebrity, whatever - and you think you should be envious. You know what you should say? I am better than that. If you see someone with prettier hair, you should say, Well, at least mine isn't greasy ... or frizzy ... or whatever.
And this is the one people do the most often. If you see someone wearing a "name brand" product you know everyone has or wants to have, don't just get it to fit in, because then you will only earn the name "poser" or "wannabe".
If you see something you like, go for it, but don't do anything just to fit in because nothing good results. We're our own person, and if we're happy with ourselves we don't need to change for anyone. Just be yourself. Don't let anyone change you or try to change you, because it usually won't benefit you.