Teens brainwashed into liking new trends


(Photo by Ally Schachtel) Teen girls wear similar Adidas superstar sneakers because they are considered “trendy” and are in style throughout the West Essex community.

By Amy Grunther, Arts & Culture Editor

A few years back, when Converse sneakers first started coming into fashion, I did not like them at all. I thought they looked preppy and weird, and did not even think to buy them. But after a month or two of seeing many different people sporting them, they grew on me. I suddenly needed them.

Did I actually come to like them or was I brainwashed by my friends and the media?

After this happened several other times with trends such as Birkenstocks and hoop earrings, I came to the realization that it’s not that I actually liked the trend, it’s more that I was made to think that if I didn’t have it, I wasn’t “cool.”

I, and I’m sure others, have come to use fashion as a way to show that we are “normal” based on high school standards. Students believe that if they do not wear chokers or white platform sneakers, others will not want to be friends with them. After being exposed to this harsh reality since elementary school, people do not realize that they really are wearing something just to be “cool.”

Walking down the hallway in high school, you see 20 girls wearing Adidas Superstars. If everyone is an individual with unique interests and character traits, it is highly unlikely that everyone actually likes the same shoes. When a “popular” kid wears something, many find that it becomes trendy.

“When I see someone wear something, I want to get it even if I don’t really like it because I think I will look trendy,” sophomore Francesca Apito said.

Students feel that wearing a trendy necklace or jacket will make them more stylish, and therefore, others will like them more.

But is it even worth being trendy if you don’t like what you’re wearing?

“I don’t really like how wearing a lot of rings looks, but it’s trendy so I do it anyway,” sophomore Ashley Thomas said. “I like how the stuff I wear looks, but I also will not wear something that I like if I think it’ll make me look like a slob. I want to look presentable.”

Fashion is looked at as a means of expression, but if someone is just following a trend and not wearing what they actually like, it is not really expressive anymore. Sure, there are other ways for a person to express him/herself (art, music or writing), but fashion is an easy and effective way to show one’s true personality.

People should decide whether they’d rather be “cool” or express themselves and wear what they actually like.

When students all wear the same thing, fashion no longer reflects individuality, but instead shows the way students will wear anything to please those around them. Whether they are afraid of being judged or feel more comfortable wearing similar clothing as their friends, students lack the confidence to make their own fashion choice based off what they like, rather they wear what’s popular.