adidas ballerina Kids Get Stuck On Designer Labels
The Declaration of Independence says we all have the right to pursue happiness. For some people, fulfilling their happiness is buying new “stuff.”
Across our nation, there are those for whom materialism seems to be the prevalent characteristic above personality. Kindness, truthfulness and education don’t seem to matter as much as owning the nicest clothes or newest phone model.
At school in particular, I have found materialism is a large issue. It seems to determine friendships and define popularity. As a female middle school student (now going into high school), I have noticed the ways materialism affects teenagers.
There are brands that I see kids wearing in class throughout the school year; Vineyard Vines, Adidas and American Eagle are just a few. Walking down the hallway each day seems like deja vu from every other day. There are shirts sporting whales and elephants or black and white superstars, and shoes with leather tags labeled with Ugg. In a preppy town in Connecticut, everyone is able to recognize the labels without a second glance.
While the media may suggest that everyone wears these top notch brands, that is not the case. Not everyone cares about being in with the new trend or some simply can’t afford the overpriced designer name clothes. Social platforms also increase the sense of pressure to follow the materialistic crowd. Less materialistic people, however, find that other things take precedence over the importance of things they can hold in their hands. These people care more about the fundamentals of a person instead of their appearance. In other words, they don’t judge a book by its cover.
I notice the looks of disdain the some kids give to those wearing off brand Uggs look alikes in the winter or non Hunter Boots. It’s as if they are saying, “Are you really wearing those?”
People considered popular in my school are usually the ones wearing the most well known brands everyday and hanging out with other kids wearing the same brands. The judgmental attitude from these kids, I’ve noticed, can hurt the self confidence of the people from different crowds.
The point of this is not to diminish people who are obsessed with material items. After all, I have clothes from most of the brands I mentioned. My purpose is to put emphasis on how material objects have become so prominent in everyday society. There is a fine line between having a few things from popular (and usually more expensive) brands and being obsessed with needing to have everything from them.
In school, the people preoccupied with having things they can show off rather than highlighting their personality seem to be the ones who are less accepting of those who don’t value materialism as much.
I’m guessing, that at one point in most people’s lives, they will begin to realize the time spent obsessing over having material things could have been used for something to better the world or themselves. My sixth grade teacher had a quote on her wall that has inspired me ever since I first read it: “30 years from now, it won’t matter what shoes you wore, how your hair looked, or the jeans you bought. What will matter is what you learned and how you used it.”