You Are Only A Kid Once

Allison Bracken, Staff Writer/Broadcast Journalism

I don’t know about you, but when I was twelve, I had a flip-phone, a blanket I slept with every night, and a t-shirt with a giant peace sign on it. The only worry on my mind was whether or not Spongebob was going to come on TV when I got home from school. That is how it should be, in my opinion. However, among many tweens, this opinion is very unpopular.

Twelve-year-old girls in 2016 are worried about their followers and likes on Instagram, if their highlight is popping, and if boys like them. This is not how it is supposed to be! In this day and age, young girls are so impressionable. They are easy persuaded to do or say things that celebrities or Instagram models do. There are so many celebrities that get plastic surgery, which obviously is perfectly fine, but it makes these impressionable little girls think that they have to look exactly like that. Girls need to be informed that it’s okay to be yourself, and that everyone is different for a reason.

This mentality is not only seen in young girls, but boys too. These young guys are hearing lyrics to rap songs and seeing movies and music videos giving them an unrealistic expectation to what women have to look like. Not only that, but they also see these buff men in sports magazines and think that this is the way they need to look as a twelve-year-old. A twelve-year old.

No matter the gender, the kids of this generation are subconsciously subjected to influences that sway their opinions on things they should not even be thinking about at such a young age. Whether they know it or not, they are shaming themselves and each other for the way they look and/or act.

Obviously this mindset is not good for any age, but especially for kids this young. Eleven and twelve-year-olds should not be worried about how they look. They should not be caught up in who likes them, or how they appear to the other boys or girls. They should focus on the most important thing at that age; growing up. You only get to have no responsibilities for a few years before you are off into the real world. These kids need to hold on to their childhood for as long as they can. Growing up isn’t all fun in games, and I think these tweens do not realize that. They are so focused on being grown up that they aren’t experiencing growing up. Being a kid is awesome, and they need to realize that before it’s too late.

Although we can’t stop songs lyrics from talking about these unrealistic expectations, and we can’t stop Victoria Secret models from showing their bodies, we can teach these young teens to accept themselves for who they are. We can show them that it is okay to be a little chubby, have a little acne, or be a little pale.

We can express to these children that loving yourself, and showing the real you to others is one of, if not the most, important thing they can do at such a delicate portion or their life.

If anyone was to take one thing away from this rant, it is to do you, and do not let anyone get in the way of that. Show others that you are not afraid to be who you are, and know that the good people of this world will accept you for it. Spread positivity and remember that you are only a kid once.