Pressure on Teens to Wear Fashionable Clothes
The Crisis of Clothes
- In the absence of strong parental control and with overexposure to celebrity images, teens today have started living borrowed lives. It is far easier to copy what friends are wearing -- and friends wear what celebrities wear -- than to craft your own style. Teenagers today feel the pressure of conforming to a group's culture and the first way this allegiance manifests itself is through the conformity to a dress code. Fashion becomes an essential accessory for a teenager's popularity.
The Power of Persuasive Peers
- Not all parents of teenagers belong to the same background, culture or income group -- but all teenagers want to look the same. They may be giving in to implied or explicit pressure from peer groups or cliques to wear trendy clothes. By giving in to the peer pressure to wear a certain type of dress -- it may be revealing or expensive or what is currently fashionable -- the teenager in turn puts pressure on her parents, who may not approve of it but may succumb to the pressure.
Knowing the Causes
- Teenagers have fragile sensitivities. They are at the age when the opinion and approval of their peer group and social acceptance matter more than anything. A teenager does not want to be teased or taunted, or feel excluded. A teenager will follow the latest fashions to follow the crowd and be accepted. The alternative is to face the pressure, and to avoid that, a teenager will pick up the latest style and adopt it without question.
- Parents can do a lot to help "Pressure-Proof" their teenager. A child who has self-esteem and values that are grounded in self-confidence will be able to make smart choices. No one wants a sloppily-dressed teenage child, but you must explain to the teenager the importance of resisting pressure when it comes to dressing up fashionably. Limiting allowance will help as the teenager will have less to spend on current trends. Communicating with your teen and knowing her friends will help you check if and when she is under pressure.