Imagine seeing a mother and her fifteen-year-old daughter at a local mall browsing and shopping for clothes. The mother had promised her daughter that today would be their day to shop. They both skimmed through racks of clothes while the daughter’s hip hop could be heard through her headphones within a seven foot radius. The daughter soon picked which clothes she liked, but her gratitude quickly snapped into attitude when the mother said no to a low v-neck shirt. “Everyone is wearing it” the daughter sassed—mom weakened; a few minutes passed and she gave in with the thought of what her parents couldn’t give her as a teen. This fifteen-year-old girl is a prime example of the generation of today. Modern teens now seem to dress more provocatively, have more inessential gadgets, and to have different values in comparison to a generation from the 50’s and 60’s.
The dress code of today’s youth seems to be entirely different than that of fifty years ago. Boys who once wore popular bell bottoms have changed to a more sloppy appearance of saggy pants. Their shirts are three sizes too big and they now wear Snapback hats to add “swag”—something apparently a girl is supposed to see attractive. If a guy isn’t strutting his stuff in this fashion sense, then he might be wearing a tight shirt and leg lovin’ skinny jeans; these jeans have an infatuation so strong to the human legs that they outline everything belonging to a guy, including the quarter in his back pocket.
Guys are not the only ones who have changed their sense of style. Young women of today seem to be the Bible’s version of the harlot. Fifty years ago women wearing pants was highly discouraged while a more modest dress was the standard. Today, a young woman’s bust is encouraged to be used to highlight a man’s attention, along with an enticing mini skirt, or a full body showing bikini.
Media is a prime example that has a great way to manipulate both young men and women into buying the latest fashion trend; after all women must be sexy for men and men must be hot for the ladies. The newest clothing trend or even latest gadget seems to be a must have in order to be part of the in-crowd. Christopher writes that marketers spend mega bucks targeting teens by candy coating their products to be an apple of the eye (2). Clothes are worn by fashion models, and commercials show happy people with the fanciest new phone. Christopher also adds that when a teen is hooked a wide range of money is being spent (2).
Children today are being raised differently than children in the 50’s. One thing contributing to that is both parents are working instead of just the father. Women, who were once simple house wives, are now putting on the boots and heading to the milk barn, figuratively so to speak. Both parents being gone at work results in little quality time being spent with children and can lead to a guilty feeling of not being there. To cope with the guilty feeling, parents oftentimes turn to buying their kids love with gifts, and things, and stuff.
Parents do not want to disappoint their children like their own parents disappointed them as a child. So parents who are more successful than their own parents tend to want more and have more than what they did growing up. Teens nowadays tend to value a video game more than a baseball and glove or a simple fooball. With things being handed to them easily, a value of a dollar is not earned.
Modern day teenagers have more electronics than necessary such as Ps3’s, PlayStation’s, Xbox’s, and IPod’s. More time is being spent inside playing a video game or listening to music than being spent outside playing a soccer game with friends. This leads to lower activity levels and a higher obesity rate. Kids become less outgoing, many social or community events are pushed aside, and family dinners become a rarity. Computers and phones have a way of hindering the way teens communicate in person. A text message and Facebook can be hard to comprehend without emotion and gestures or even be taken in a wrong manner.
These devices are also great at distracting one from homework or study time, which could easily affect school grades or the enthusiasm to even do well in school. Education is not highly valued, even though it is a gateway to success in the future. Without education, life is generally more lived on a paycheck from McDonald’s. With parents being lenient at home and teachers handing out A’s to all students, kids are growing up thinking the real world is a softhearted place. If this were the case, then education would be a pointless waste of time and no one would do it. Education should be taught as a something with meaning that will enrich one’s future. Grades should be worked for—not given.
A parent at home should not be permissive, but yet a parent should not push their son or daughter past the border lines. Mom and dad should encourage their teens to be successful in school, but yet understand their strengths and weaknesses. By doing this, a teen’s outlook on education is viewed as something important instead of a vain attempt, and will inspirit him or her to try his or hers best. Besides the parents, teachers, who are being paid to teach, should not be handing an A to an undeserving student. The only thing that student attains from that teacher is that life is easier when one doesn’t try. If a teen had enough push, he or she would get a “feel” for the real world; who knows who the next Bill Gates will be.
Compared to the teens who grew up in the 60’s, now teens have more designer brand clothes, more electronics than they need, and have a different viewpoint towards education. The real world does not specifically care whether the pants cost $120 or $15, or if one answers a call on a flip phone or an IPhone. The world just cares if one wears pants and whether he or she answers the call.