How the Times Have Changed for Young Adults and Teens

For young adults and teens in today’s society finding out who they are is now one of their biggest challenges. The information from these essays “The Thing About Thongs” by Claudia Wallis, “What’s Changed? ” By Jane Hammerslough, “The Man behind Abercrombie & Fitch” By Benoit Denizet-Lewis, and “Urban Warfare” By Hillary Chura has given the back bone information. The way that younger generations are finding out who they are is one of the hardest phases for them to go thought. Children today feel like they have to do what their friends pressure them to do so they won’t be an outcast.

Today, if some people believe that they have to live and be part of a group, they need to juggle how those people live and think. Chura believes that indivisibles have to experience a lifestyle to know it; “if you don’t live the lifestyle, you don’t know, and it becomes very, very apparent very quickly” (339). Today, there are so many different kinds of lifestyles that make up many different groups of people. With kids turning into teens, there is a time of peer pressure. Kids feel like they have to try what they are pressured into doing.

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In the pre-teen and young teen years is when kids are pressured the most: “peer pressure is at its most intense between fifth and eighth grade” (Wallis 325). With all the peer pressure, kids today now feel like they have to go the way the crowd is going, so they won’t be an outcast. At the beginning of middle school is when kids start finding out who they are, and their friends pressure them into acting with the group. With all the pressure of other peers telling them what they need to do, for example join a group or getting left behind, this can be hard on kids.

Teens always want to be in with the crowd and will go in and out of phases just to try to fit in. Young adults and teens are now the focus of today’s media which makes companies have to find ways to attract them and advertise in new methods. Today, young adults and teens are using technology in their everyday lives. This makes it easier for companies to target them with ads. In “The Age of Reason” by Kenneth Hein it says companies have to find new ways to get attention of teens and young adults: “teens are the most active target in the world” (345).

With companies trying to get their product known, they now have to find new ways to advertise. Businesses have had to find new ways to advertise to get the attention of the consumer. The way people look at advertisements changes all the time, and the companies have to change with them: “the street teams evolved like record-companies promoters, going straight to the consumers” (Chura 338). When teens and young adults started using technology in their everyday lives, companies saw the use of technology as a method to use for advertising.

When someone logs on to a computer or watches a movie, there is always some sort of advertisement for some sort of product. Change occurs all of the time. Change happens if people want it or not. Today kids at younger ages have engaged with their sexuality, and some parents and adults don’t like this idea. In the essay by Wallis states that kids are learning about their sexually at an earlier age: “Kids are engaged with their sexuality at a younger ages, but they’re not necessarily sexually active” (326). Kids in today’s society are starting to learn about different sexual ideas at a younger age.

Some parents with young children don’t believe that it is a good idea for kids to learn about certain sexual ideas when they are younger, like their sexuality. Change happens as a part of life, but sometimes it can come too fast for comfort: “change occurs whether we want it or not” (Hammerslough 314). What was something that was unheard of when parents were their kids age may not be the same way anymore. This can make it hard to get an understanding between kids and parents. Young adults spend a lot on themselves just to figure out who they are.

They are always looked at as a cool person by wearing different types of clothing brands. Today, the youth of the world is looking for different ways to express itself but also still fit in with the crowd. “The Age of Reason” by Kenneth Hein states how much young adults and teens spend more money on themselves than ever before: “they can’t ignore Brandon and his peers, who are expected to spend a significant $175 billion on themselves this year”(344). Young adults, like Brandon, spend so much money just to find out who they really are.

Some ways of them being able to express themselves is through to fitting in by brands. Brands can send off many different meanings that peers give to them: For many young men, to wear Abercrombie as to broadcast masculinity, athleticism, and inclusion in the “cool boys club” without even having to open their mouths (that may be why the brand is so popular among some gay men who want desperately to announce their non-effeminacy). But because A&F vision is so constructed and com-modified ( and because what A&F sells is not so much manhood but perennial boyhood), there is also something oddly emasculating about it.

Compared to the 1950s ideal, A&F version of maleness feels restrictive and claustrophobic. If becoming a man is about independence and growing up, then Abercrombie doesn’t feel very masculine. (Denizet-Lewis 368) Brands can have many different meanings to different people, and Lewis had talked about how much one brand can mean. Brands show off who everyone wants to come off as. Whether its young but mature or athletic, brands play a big part in the lives of young adults by finding out who or what they think of their self’s. Finding out that what everyone wear dose not necessarily define a person, takes a long time.

As young adults go thought this stage of their lives, they always spend money on themselves hoping that they will find out who they are. Finding out who they are in the world can be one of the hardest answers to find. It seems like a straight-forward answer, but young adults struggle to try and find a better understanding. Brands can be a good way for young adults to find out who they are. Cultures often use objects for the same reasons as everyone else. For hundreds and even thousands of years, cultures have given value to certain objects that represent some sort of dream or want. The Cult You’re In” by Kalle Lasn ends its essay with a question: “what does it mean when a whole culture dreams the same dream? ” (380). If a whole culture believes in one or many dreams together, how does that affect them? There are objects and symbols everywhere in everyday lives, and groups of people from different cultures all may have the same belief in what that means. For many generations, people have believed in the same objects and passed that down from generation to generation: “For thousands of years, people have put their faith in objects” (Hammerslough 313).

An example of this is the cross. Almost everyone in Western culture will say that it deals with a religion or a belief in a higher understanding of life. Symbols and object can reflect in what a culture believes or what meaning it has given the objects. With some objects, they can represent a dream or belief in something more than them. Today for young adults and teens finding out who they are can be can be a difficult process. By referring back the essays, the reader can find many examples on how teens and young adults act in today’s society.

An example of this was how young adults and teens change their appearances with many different brands of clothing. With all the media and peers saying what they should do, this can make it hard for them to find out that question. That is why the younger generations spend so much money on themselves to try and find where they fit in, and keeping up with the crowd.

Works Cited

Denizet-Lewis, Benoit. “The Man behind Abercrombie & Fitch. ” Next Text. Ed. Anne Kress. New York: Bedford, 2008. 364-375. Print. Chura, Hillary. Urban Warfare. ” Next Text. Ed. Anne Kress. New York: Bedford, 2008. 336-343. Print. Hein, Kenneth. “The Age of Reason. ” Next Text. Ed. Anne Kress. New York: Bedford, 2008. 344-350. Print. Hammerslough, Jane. “What’s Changed?. ” Next Text. Ed. Anne Kress. New York: Bedford, 2008. 313-320. Print. Lasn, Kalle. “The Cult You’re In. ” Next Text. Ed. Anne Kress. New York: Bedford, 2008. 376-382. Print. Wallis, Claudia “The Thing About Thongs. ” Next Text. Ed. Anne Kress. New York: Bedford, 2008. 324-328. Print.

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How the Times Have Changed for Young Adults and Teens. (2017, Jan 07). Retrieved from