In a society where social media rules over us, the image that we portray to others has become even more important.The need to perfect our Instagram page and have the prettiest hair and makeup is significant for a lot of young people.

Let’s admit it, keeping up with the trends is a little tiring. Sometimes, I feel rather than work on our sense of self, we are too in tune with our online image. What is deemed as popular or ‘in’ changes daily and we lose ourselves in it.Therefore, losing a bit of what makes us individuals.

Throughout my teenage years, I have always felt a little out of the loop so to say. Trends came and went, and I didn’t feel the need to follow any of them, unless I wanted to. I don’t mean to sound like a ‘special snowflake’ here,  because I’m not. However, I am pretty sure of myself, my style, and my beliefs (though still learning).

Looking back on those years now, (I’m 20 this year) I can now see where I had felt pressured to fit in. When I wore clothes that really didn’t suit me, and when I acted badly too. I now know that the choices you make then lead you to be the person you are today, you learn and you grow into an individual.

 

The point here is, now that social media is becoming more popular for a younger audience, are teenagers going to be able to ever truly ‘find themselves’? There’s enough peer pressure in schools, never mind on the internet too, and now that so many of us are stuck to a screen 24/7, Trends are fed to us hourly on how to dress, act and think, and it’s a bit painful watching people try to keep up to be honest.

I put down my strong sense of self to my upbringing, in which my Mum taught me to thrive on what made me different. I’m a natural redhead, and was naturally teased for it too. Over time, I learned that what made me different, made me actually, quite special really. This ideology is what kept me relatively strong through a nasty bout of bullying and the tough survival of secondary school in itself.

 

Admittedly, being a teenager is tough, and in finding out what you like. You will probably try 100 trends before you find what suits you.There is nothing wrong with that, go crazy in fact! Never feel pressured into dressing, acting, or doing something that you don’t like.Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean you have to. Be true to yourself. Take what makes you different, and embrace it.

Article by Laura Jackson.

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