The pressure of being a teen
Every generation thinks they have it tougher than the one before. And, you know what? They probably do. Like the new iphone, every generation is expected to be smarter, faster, better, and thinner than the last. So it is with teenagers, teenage girls to be exact. It's no newsflash to anyone who's ever been a teenager that being one is full of pressure. I remember an ad I saw in a women's magazine when I was a teen that resonates with me to this day: You can never be too rich or too thin (bonus points to any of you who remember what product that ad was selling).
Current research shows that not only such magazines but now too the wonderful world wide web are contributing to making girls feel miserable with regard to being, well, as rich and as thin as possible. In the Generation Under Stress Report, two out of five teenage girls felt more poorly about themselves after looking at pictures of models, music stars and actresses in magazines. And the pressure doesn't end there. Girls also reported feeling pressure to act and dress more like adults, to be sexually active before they were ready and to invest in expensive material items like Ipods, cell phones and brand-name clothing and accessories (what teenager NEEDS a Prada bag?). Add that to the eating disorders and bullying and you have a recipe for disaster.
So what do we do? Send our teenage girls off to the convent? If you have the answer, please let me know--I am about to have a daughter and am feeling the pressure before she's even been born. Not too long ago I saw a onesie that said, "Does this outfit make my butt look big?" HELP!