The Things That Really Matter

Madilyn - Hamburg, New York
Entered on February 28, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I am a student at Orchard Park High school and a huge part of my school is constantly obsessing over their social image. Social Image can be defined as a concrete representation of how the public sees you. The majority of the kids in my school are wealthy, live in 4000+ square foot homes, and whose parents bend over backwards to give their children everything. Many of these kids get things handed to them and put little effort to get things they want. The things that they put a lot of effort into and care more about are their social appearances and how other students judge them. Many teens (in my school and most others) are constantly worried about how they are viewed by the other students and spend thousands of dollars a year simply on designer fashion, makeup, accessories, and the latest technology. The way they look and dress seems to play a major role in their life such as following trends and looking “in-style”. There is but one huge culprit to this lack of individuality and increase in materialistic views, the media.

In the most movies, shows, commercials, and even advertisements, the actors/actresses are portrayed by skinny, good-skinned, beautiful people who wear pounds of makeup and dress in million-dollar merchandise. These people make millions of dollars a year. I believe that the media is sending the wrong message to teens throughout the nation. They are indirectly showing that you have to be skinny, beautiful, and make millions to be successful and most importantly happy. But as most of us may know, good looks and money don’t always buy happiness. If you don’t believe me just take a look at Britney Spears.

The Media is constantly throwing these stereotypes at us to act as role models while young teens are struggling to maintain a high social image. Along with that many young people choose to surround themselves with many “fake” friends. They only seem to care about how “cool” they are rather than how “not cool” they are actually acting. Many teens in our society care more about living like the rich and the famous and having fake motives rather than the things that actually make them happy.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, who doesn’t want to be that “it” girl/guy on TV, the envy of all society or have a smoking hot bod and be on the front cover of a magazine, but is it really worth it to live an unhappy life? This doesn’t mean everyone who is wealthy, famous, or has a high social status isn’t happy because they may be. Many just hide behind the fake smiles and layers of makeup.

The media needs to start sending out the right message and people/teens need to pay more attention to the things and people that really matter and make us happy.