Teenage Wasteland21st Century KidsMikaela Foster

I wish I had a good definition of mature, but I think it’s not always the same. The internet and social media has totally changed what it means to be a kid. When you have access to everything in the world, you see how other kids your age are acting. If they’re acting much older then does that mean you aren’t normal? Instead of going out and playing, kids are online trying to decide what their new profile picture should be. The reason that the kids in the ’90s weren’t dressing the same way we dress today and acting the way we do today is because they didn’t feel pressured by the internet to do certain things.

The other day I was in Abercrombie to get a pair of shorts. I pulled up a pair of 12s and they were seriously so small and so short they probably wouldn’t have fit my 7-year-old sister. If I want to actually wear cute clothes then I know its really rare for them to be age appropriate. My favorite stores are starting to only sell tops that are more low-cut and really short shorts. I really don’t want to be the girl that wears inappropriate outfits but I feel like to fit in with the girls in my class, I have to act a certain way and wear certain clothes.

It really annoys me when kids try to act “mature” by using adult words. When someone says something like “OMG, what a retard”. Its not like they chose to be that way. Kids throw out words like “retarded”, “gay”, “fag”, etc. and they have no idea how offensive these words actually are. And being gay doesn’t even matter, so why is it a joke? Also, It will never make you cool to tell someone “F*** you” or “Go kill yourself”. I think its truly disgusting how tweens/teens are committing suicide because of cyber bullying. Yes, there have always been bullies, but bullies these days are extreme. It makes me feel so sad inside thinking that someone could die today because they were bullied because of their size, shape, color, sexual orientation, appearance or just anything.

I’m sure everyone will look back at their childhood when they are adults and think about all the stupid things they said/did and regret them. I’m just hoping kids in 20 years aren’t doing the same things that kids are doing today. Because that’s just weird.

Image via Earsucker

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  • http://www.facebook.com/bryanna.shaw Bryanna Shaw

    omg its mini Jersey shore!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jacinta.wyld Jacinta Wyld

    i once saw a girl around 12 years old wearing a tshirt that said ‘MILF in the making’, i was mortified, firstly, does she even know what this means?! and who are her parents to buy this sort of top for her and then let her wear it?!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sshho Sophie Hayes Oatman

    I so agree, I’m 12 too and theres all these girls wearing see through low tank tops and a push up bra. and the rules at our school are literally that… size, shape, color, sexual orientation, you cannot be made fun of for that. but one time some people did and or principal yelled at EVERYONE at the top of her lungs and said that we were aliens and don’t belong on earth, which, i guess is good but i feel so completely freaked every time i see her. i 6th grader just posted on fb: “So Ur tht bitch who told tht bitch tht am a bitch so listen bitch it takes a bitch to know a bitch so fck u bitch :)” yeah that doesn’t make you cool.
    my point is, i agree and people need to stop trying to grow up so fast because so many people would do anything to go back to being a little kid.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1638626197 Kimberly ‘Roddy’ Jimenez

    wow, your parents should be so proud of you. If only most adults had half the insight that you have this world might be a better place.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=623947734 Sofia Sims

    This is an incredible article, Michaela. You have such a good insight into the world around you – and you’re right, many young kids at the moment are so influenced by peers and the internet to the point where they are acting in outrageous ways. I find it all very sad.
    I understand how hard it can be to want to fit in, and to feel like you have to wear certain things to be accepted, but the most important thing is to be yourself – and from what I can see, you’re incredibly intelligent – and I wish that there were more people your age that had the intelligence you have. That intelligence is worth so much – you wear what you want, act the way you think is right, and if other people don’t like it, then perhaps they aren’t worth hanging out with. You just carry on being as awesome as you are, because all tweens should be wanting to take a leaf out of your book :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=701536593 Natasha Pricilla Ishak

    i’m 22 and it makes me cringe when i see 12 year olds dressing so maturely. i was no where near their way of dressing when i was their age.. and i have the old pics to prove it! it’s very good that you are aware of this issue but i think it’s also important for you to not think about it too much. just do/wear/say what makes you feel comfortable instead of worrying what’s ~in~ and what’s not. basically, just be a kid and just be YOU and i know you and your childhood will be fine x

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001335125095 Denisse Acevedo

    You are an inspiration! Keep it coming! Great Article!!!! :) Stay true to yourself!

  • http://www.facebook.com/smellyann16 Melanie Meierotto

    But you can’t always blame the children. If their parents are bad, the kids will most likely follow in their parents’ footsteps. Think about it- the kids in the picture up there? I doubt they would’ve dressed like that if their mom/dad didn’t show them to. Parents need to learn how to grow up before they can expect their children to grow up properly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/notheresunshine Alexandra Rae

    You go, girl. I love your articles. Written well and you have a good head on your shoulders.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1542279622 Molly Villodas

    WOW.. You’re twelve and composed such a brilliant article?? You get an ” Air Hug” all the way from Chicago! Be a role model for your generation!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/neferia Claire Tandy

    Amazingly well written article.
    It is such a shame when I see young girls wearing next to nothing, and remember when I was younger it was all about the fluorescent cycling shorts (I kid ye not!) and Mr Blobby (strange 90s English TV character!) T-shirts!
    It seems that children are not allowed to have a childhood these days, and are forced into adolescence way too soon!
    The world needs more people like you, with wise heads on those young shoulders!
    Keep writing, you clearly have a talent ^-^


  • http://www.facebook.com/kimberlymontgomeryhawkins Kimberly Hawkins

    I don’t think the internet should shoulder all the blame…I think Bratz dolls should claim their fair share. Haha! But seriously, I think you’re awesome. This is coming from someone twice your age. As an adult, I think it is our job to protect childhood innocence for as long as possible. I don’t think alot of adults realize how impressionable kids are. I heard a couple of kids (maybe 8 years old) discussing “Jersey Shore” the other day. Seriously? I wanted to grab the mom and shake her and say “What are you doing to your babies!?!?”. I say, be a kid, play with toys if you want, watch cartoons! Getting off my soapbox now. :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001592478655 Laura Mendez

    I know exactly how you feel… I’m fourteen, and frankly, I don’t see why girls in my grade, that are even younger than I am are so rushed to go out there and act like they’re 21. Its insane. Sometimes you feel like telling them “honey, you’re missing your childhood” the time will come when we can dress like we’re going out to a club or, party ’till 2am, but not right now…

  • http://www.facebook.com/olivia.e.richardson Olivia Erin Richardson

    Mikaela, you are such an inspiration, really! I thought very much the same way you do when I was 12 (I’m 20 now) and I can tell you, that kind of intelligence and level-headedness will be such a blessing in years to come. Keep it up, kid!

  • http://www.facebook.com/juliagazdag Julia Gazdag

    I love your pieces, Mikaela! I feel like if we’d been the same age at the same time, we would’ve been good friends. Ladies like you make me look forward to the future :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/lorraine.conaty Lorraine Conaty

    Mikaela, I read your post out to my daughter who is 8, she is a little bit younger than you but she feels exactly the same way you do. She is already struggling with the pressures to conform to the “norm”. You sound like a wonderful, strong and powerful young lady and my daughter says she “stands beside you in spirit”. You are not alone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/deedezarn DeeAnn DeZarn

    I don’t know what to say that wouldn’t add the culture of internet corruption. My 12-year-old daughter is my best friend and she goes to public school. While your article may seem surprising to most, I have kept my girl right there since she was born six weeks early at 4 1/2 pounds. She tells me a lot right away, then more later, and I’m sure not everything. What I have heard the other kids telling her & each since 2nd grade makes some of this seem G-rated. Parents leave their computers to babysit their kids and just one naughty kid has to sneak to one wrong website to tell every kid about how, umm, he thinks things work. And he’s wrong. And another, just one girl has to watch the infomercial where the sell a flirty pole for exercise, and recess changed at 3rd grade. No one noticed, not even when the boys brought change to shake in their pockets. Not enough people volunteered that they could spare another to supervise at recess. What about Lunch? I am glad she keeps me next to her heart, and my daughter knows what all this means so she’s not out there unknowingly begging for change, but I’m most glad she plays with Monster High Dolls by choice but would never dress like them. I hope she has the courage to find her voice as you have.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1278780933 Peyton Baggott

    Girl you are going to be worlds ahead by the time you reach your 20’s if you’re already thinking like this at 12! Keep it up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stharp1 Sarah Breneman Tharp

    You are a VERY smart young lady! I am sure some days it is difficult to stand up to peer pressure, but sounds like you can do it! Keep on!

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