Teens shouldn’t feel pressure to conform to trends

The reliance on trends has limited teenage expression.

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Teens shouldn’t feel pressure to conform to trends

by Lauren Brackney, Writer

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Trends become popular in a matter of a few days on social media. They seem to spread like wildfire until eventually, every teen has taken notice of it and incorporated it into their own life. I think that trends are putting too much stress on to teens. Keeping up with fashion trends can become overwhelming. Trends appear and disappear within the blink of an eye. You don’t want to risk falling behind and being scrutinized for not being up to date. 

I believe that the reason trends blow up so quickly is because they are usually easy to replicate. They consist of products and clothing items that appeal to a target audience, usually teenage girls. The last thing a teen wants is to be singled out or teased for the decisions they make, especially for what they are wearing. One negative comment or interaction can leave a lasting impression on a teen’s confidence. 

This pressure to fit in with their peers is what motivates teens, including myself, to incorporate trends into their life, regardless of their own personal style or preferences. They can use trends as a guideline for what to wear or what to buy by looking at what everyone else already has. These preset rules help subside the stress of being critiqued. 

Trends generate a feeling of exclusivity and secret clubs that only a select group of people could be a part of. Trends also tend to revolve around the first swarm of people that use it. This means that once the trend has become too popular, it loses its value and status. It has run its course and will eventually fizzle out.

Most people don’t even realize how harmful trends can become. Sure, they provide the assurance teens are after but it comes at a cost.  

At popular stores like LuluLemon and Free People, a simple shirt and pants outfit can cost well over $200. This doesn’t include the cost of accessories or shoes, which are another major cost. This can equate to thousands of dollars spent on outfits for any given week. Teens rarely have jobs that pay more than the standard wage which makes affording these trends difficult. And with the quick turnaround of a trend, I think spending this much money on one or two products is a waste.

When you start accepting trends into your life, you risk losing a little bit of your expression and individuality. The teenage years are meant for self discovery and to provide the foundation on which the rest of your life will build. Although it may seem insignificant, the clothing that you choose to wear is a form of expression. When teens choose to follow trends without any personal modifications, they miss out on the opportunity to further themselves as an individual.

Trends have always existed and always will exist. Trends themselves are not bad, it is our reliance on them that can be harmful. Instead, trends should be used as a starting point for teenagers to expand upon. Being stressed about what to wear should be the least of our worries.

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