Why Is It So Hard To Keep Up?

September 29, 2022


Leah Melessa

Verrado students assemble to support the end of fast fashion.

Siren eyes or doe eyes? Upturned eyeliner or downturned eyeliner? You’re beautiful if your smile looks like this. Stop putting your blush on your cheeks, it goes on your temples. Brown mascara looks more natural. Be the clean girl aesthetic. Be the indie sleaze. Be the rockstar girlfriend. Be the Lana Del Rey, Diet Coke, ribbons, lace, and Lolita. 

If you’re on Tik Tok, you know what these words mean. If you’re on social media, you’re used to being told what to do; how to do your makeup, what clothes to wear, what to look like, what to sound like. It becomes exhausting. Every girl at one point has faced some sort of criticism regarding her appearance. And while each generation has faced its own scrutiny, being a girl and growing up in the 21st century has been exceptionally harder than ever.

This adorable jacket was a great find at Goodwill. (Leah Melessa)

Social Media has been pushing beauty standards onto young girls like its life depends on it. As you scroll through your for you page, you see a constant stream of content that feeds into insecurities. “You’re doing your makeup wrong, try this hack to look younger!” It appears that there are quite a few hacks out there to make you look younger. Slimmer. Prettier. And no matter what you try or what you do, it feels like you’re never enough. 

That’s the problem, never feeling like you’re enough. It feels like once you’ve finally caught up, a new style is in. Last week the Mirror Palais fashion show debuted, and it seems like it’s already old news. Trends come and go in the blink of an eye, and if you don’t keep up, you’ll be old news, too. This year it’s Bella Hadid, last year it was Emma Chamberlain. Society disposes of people as soon as the spotlight is moved from one to another. 

Obviously, a lot of problems will arise from this mentality.

Overconsumption of products and clothing is a huge problem and contributes to an already diminishing and unstable environment.

So when you buy House Of Sunny’s “Hockney Dress” because you saw it on Kendall Jenner and Matilda Djerf once, and then suddenly, it’s not cool anymore, you get rid of it. If it’s not donated, it’s in the landfill before it even has a chance to be worn. The rapid cycle of trending “aesthetics” that circulate Tik Tok and other social media platforms keep people wanting to be cool, but at a cost. 

It is expensive to keep up with this habit, so is the dress worth it? According to Mrs.Rachel Diehl, one of Verrado’s Fashion Club advisors, “Schools can also have their own fashion trends and their own versions of more popular trends.” She states that “Many schools have fashion clubs, some even associated with FIDM (Fashion Institute for Design and Merchandising).  These clubs can become local “influencers”.  This can have a positive effect if these groups focus on things like upcycling and thrifting.  Encouraging their schools to give up on “fast fashion” and to start creating their own looks from thrifted or donated clothes.” 

Or is it just trending? Mrs. Diehl responded, “…while the proliferation of social media does bombard people with images, hacks, and tips, it also provides everyone with a platform to express their own voices, to showcase their own styles.”

In order to preserve our own mental health, we must ask ourselves questions regarding the purchases we make, or the trends we choose to follow. Verrado’s Student Support Specialist, Ms.Sabrina Booth, weighed in on social media influences:  “It’s ironic that technology was essentially made to bring people closer together and it’s doing the opposite leaving some feeling lonely and isolated. Multiple studies have shown links between social media and mental health putting more people at risk for depression, anxiety, and lack of self-esteem.”  

A few of these questions might look like: Do I feel confident in this? Do I feel like myself when I look like this? Is this something I see myself wearing/doing in the future? If the answer to these questions is no, then you’re likely being scammed and manipulated into liking something because it is popular, and your interest in it will slowly fade.

Ms. Booth continued to explain that “People also often struggle with the fear of missing out. Scrolling through social media people may feel like they are not good enough watching everyone else “having more fun” or “living better lives”. Even if they know these pictures are airbrushed or manipulated, it still makes us look at what we are doing with our own life.” 

Breaking the bandwagon chain is hard, but it is possible, and very beneficial to the world, your pocket, and yourself. 


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  • B

    Brooke L.Sep 30, 2022 at 12:43 PM

    Amazing as always Leah!

    • L

      LeahOct 3, 2022 at 1:34 PM

      brooke u slay

  • S

    Sabrina BoothSep 30, 2022 at 12:23 PM

    AWESOME job Leah!!!