Real Teens Talk: Pressure

In response to our recent writer essays on the pressures facing teens today, we asked the Everly Mag Instagram community to answer the question:

What is the biggest pressure facing teens today?

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“I think the biggest pressure is to look perfect.  Skinny waist, small stomach, small thighs.  Everyone wants to have a Barbie doll figure.” – Shannon, 13, United States

“I think [the biggest pressure] probably is to be perfect, at least for girls.  We all think we have to act this way and wear these clothes so you can be perfect and be liked by others.  [Teens] think that’s the only way they will be liked and accepted.” – Ellie, 13, United States

“Living up to what [you] see on social media, whether that be looks, grades, talents, or skills.” – Lana, 14, United Kingdom

“Definitely the harsh comments and rumors fans make for famous people.  It starts a lot of accusations and drama for the people, but also harsh and negative comments toward other kids.  Sometimes, you may never know who they are!” – Stephanie, 14, United States

“Exams!  In the United Kingdom, Year 11s are doing GCSE, me included, and it’s crazy stressful.  It’s worse how two years’ worth of hard work [decides] your life in just two hours.  There is so much pressure to get good grades, from school, parents, and personal objectives, especially if you’ve worked relentlessly to achieve an A.  The worst is working crazy hard for something, but [ending] up disappointed, so there is so much pressure to avoid the disappointment.” – Danisha, 16, United Kingdom

“Social acceptance.  Everyone is trying to hard to fit in and be accepted that they forget that they are already good enough, and they don’t realize that they don’t need to be perfect to be liked.  Real friends don’t care what you look like, they care about you no matter what.” – Ella Rose, 14, United Kingdom

“Our peers.  We get pressured to be as successful as others our own age.  Sometimes we are pressured by our parents, sometimes it’s our peers, and sometimes we even pressure ourselves.” – Olivia, 14, United States

“Due to the advances of technology, teens now have to face the pressure of social media.  Whether it’s the amount of followers someone has, or the way someone looks and presents themselves, teens now sometimes feel pressured to place themselves into these molds and be a certain way.  One concerning issue is body image.  It makes teens think they have to look a certain way to be pretty, when really they don’t.  On social media, people pick and choose what they want others to see, whether it’s how they look or how they want others to see what their life is like.  Teens now have to deal with society’s unrealistic standards, and at times feel pressured, due to social media.” – Vivian, 17, United States

“I think one of the major things that pressures teens is worrying about if we are liked.  Teens these days will do anything to get attention or friends.  However, you don’t need to!  Just be yourself and don’t worry about it, because [that] will reduce the amount of pressure on you.  There are so many other things in this world that put pressure on you, why add something else to the mix?” – Raegan, 13, United States

“The pressure to do extremely well on exams, to determine our future when we have so much time left, to put a stamp on our lives that decides the rest of our lives.” – Ellie-Mae, 17, United Kingdom

“I think one of the biggest pressures is trying to fit [in] and be a so-called cool kid, so then you get pressured into doing stupid things that you will regret later.” – Lexi, 14, United States

“The concept of popularity.  So many teens are faced with ‘famous’ influencers across the world that [display] nice clothes, expensive vacations, and having the best quality photographs.  This idea that we need to be famous and have nice things weighs on teens everywhere and can lead to self-confidence issues, [which] can create a domino effect toward mental health issues.” – Jaycie, 19, United States

“To be perfect.  Society has told everyone we have to act, dress, talk, and live a certain way.  We’re never taught to  love ourselves the way we should.  We’re taught that we should always point out our flaws and always feel uncomfortable in our own bodies.  No one is perfect, and we should learn to love ourselves for who we are.” – Natalia, 16, United States

“Exams!  Education is increasingly more difficult year by year, and so the pressure on students to do well [on exams] is also rising.” – Grace, 17, United Kingdom

“The biggest pressure facing teens is trying to be ‘beautiful’ according to society’s standards.  You can’t be ‘too skinny’ or ‘too fat.’  It’s not [okay], in my opinion everyone is beautiful just the way they are!” – Kianna, 15, United States

“The biggest challenge us teens have to face [is] ourselves.  We sometimes struggle to know what we want and what we don’t want.  We struggle to know who we are.  Sometimes we don’t even know ourselves, because we keep changing.” – Jarenni, 15, United States

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