In this generation, societal pressure plays a significant role in the daily lives of teens and
younger children. Lack of acceptance and the desire for popularity result in insecurities,
self-doubt and even obsession. My big wake up call came when an elementary schooler at the
Boys and Girls Club came to me crying about her lack of Instagram followers. Nonetheless,
teens try to stray away from discussing the societal effect peer pressure has in their lives. Allow
me to provide a scenario; it was noon when we were asked to write down what the word
“identity” meant to us during the “My Name My Story” Changemaker Day workshop at my
school. Every student began to vigorously write down their life journey into notebook paper.
When everyone finished, we were asked to answer an even more challenging question. The
leader of the workshop stood up and asked us all, “How do social standards impact your
identity?” Another passionate session with pen and paper commenced among the students. The
atmosphere in the room felt relaxed and comfortable until we were individually asked to discuss
our answers in front of all of our peers. When they asked for volunteers, no one stepped up to the
plate, including me. In my head, I imagined myself standing up and blurting out that I was tired
of feeling as if my ethnicity and body figure were the only parts of me that people saw. However,
like most of us in the room, I was too afraid to discuss the topic.
That was the day when I realized that societal pressures impact all of us in some way,
though, the conversation could become uncomfortable because every...