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Gucci. Nike. Balenciaga. Adidas. These big brands are no stranger to many young people in the 21st century and these companies have truly cracked the code of the teenage brain. I mean, why are you buying the Adidas Superstars? Why must you have the Nike Air Max 97’s? That Gucci belt you own, do you even know what it stands for?

Nowadays, the average teen has a pair of Nike or Yeezy or Adidas shoes in their wardrobe but what I am trying to figure out is why – why must we conform to this materialistic society, where without the Nike trainers you are not a true athlete or why the cheaper Fila shoes just aren’t cutting it?

The Desire To Belong:

Science has told us that every human being strives for one thing: belonging – it is a basic truth.

A study has shown that teens do feel a pressure to match everyone else, to conform to what people say is ‘cool’ or have at least wanted the item that everyone else wants. Otherwise we fear we won’t be accepted and that we’ll be isolated from the people around us. 

This mentality that many young people have today needs to stop. Furthermore these brands aren’t the cheapest, with Season 6 Yeezys predicted to be around £400, ‘acceptance’ isn’t cheap.

Social media influencers like Instagram models, contribute to low self esteem in many teenagers in the UK.

These unattainable images on your feed mess with your mind and creep up on you later. Seeing someone from your school have the latest LV bag, can make you question yourself, and might even drag you into participating just to be on their ‘level’.

I’m not saying people don’t deserve good things but I am simply asking why we have to break our banks for all these items that we might not even like.

The Power Of Marketing:

Many brands know exactly what will speak to us in advertisements: our insecurities. As young people it is normal for all of us to have problems with identity.

Sometimes we might jump on a trend just because that’s what everyone else is doing and in the moment  this seems like the right choice. If everyone else is doing it, it must be right? Right? Identity is the fact of knowing who you are, and without knowing your identity your mouth is wide open to whatever the big brands will feed you.

The Influence of Music:

With Hip-Hop & Rap artists being a huge part of youths lives today, many of them flaunt their ‘Lambos’ or how they ‘Came in a black Benz and left in a white one’.

However, the most famous line from one of these rappers is ‘Gucci Gang’. ‘Gucci Gang, Gucci Gang, Gucci Gang’. I am sick of seeing so many people on Instagram using the hashtag ‘Gucci Gang.’

This song has become implanted into many young people’s minds and feeds into the fact that we all want to ‘belong’ to a group or gang, in this case it’s the so-called ‘Gucci Gang’.

Honestly, I am just sick and tired of seeing many teenagers wearing the same kind of shoes without actually really liking the brand or shoe but only wearing it because everyone else is wearing a pair of them. I am not leaving myself out here.

I have followed trends just to be like everyone else, just to not be the only one without.

So What Are We Going To Do?:

Well… to fix these insecurities there is only one thing we can do which is just not fall into the trap of finding our holes of insecurity and filling them with materialistic items. Instead we should concentrate on what you could say ‘finding ourselves’ and practising ‘self-love’.

A real bible quote that I completely stand for is:

‘Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant than pretend to be somebody and have no food.’

But I want you to think about this question: Do you really and I mean truly like your favourite brand? Or is it all just ‘Image Gang’?

Olakitan Delano

Social Issues Writer at Worth of Mouth
Olakitan Delano has been writing since the age of twelve. Discovering her love for writing when she first published in Grim Tales - West Country Legends anthology. Her wide range of views reflect her multifaceted approach to social issues and business entrepreneurship.
Olakitan Delano
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