Research-Chavanillo

Teens Obsession With Sneakers!

The fashion industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. This trend is led by footwear companies. Footwear has become an increasingly obsessive. The increasing social dependence on social media and blogging; the emotional dependence on sneakers for well-being; the dangers of giving value to sneakers; the consumer’s fault at creating this danger, and the values given to sneakers as a society aggravate the issues related to sneakers. Because of the increase of online social interactions, the obsessive nature of shoes has seen a drastic increase. Nowadays, teens freely post their identities and personal lives onto the internet. In the article by Chittenden, Tara she talks about ten girls that are obsessed with blogging. Bloggers record their day to day activities and post personal information to boost their social status. However, today bloggers can see feedback from viewers and edit their behavior to increase their popularity. Many teens will often change their lifestyle just to get people to talk to them or be the “famous” on Instagram. I believe that bogging has seen a rise in popularity because of the values teens have. For teens on of the most important things is how other people see them. Many don’t take a minute to realize what they really like and enjoy and hide it to fulfill other people’s desires. I also believe blogging is gaining popularity because it’s a way for teens to escape negative emotions that could be symptoms of depression. However, blogging has created a new level of peer pressure, specifically with shoes. Teens can be seen showing off their new shoes for compliments and a sense of accomplishment. While blogging decreases the solidarity of teens it creates a value to flaunting in society.

There are teens who get depressed or sad because they can’t afford those sneakers that would make them “fit” into the environment. Sneakers have become the identity of teens. What he or she wears defines who are they as a person and what they like to do. It’s insane how a piece of clothing can define who you are as a person. Children are receiving peer pressure from the people around them because they get use desiring what they see at home and what is trending. As a result, they take in account their peer’s favorite products and learn to like that too. This means that when they are looking for clothes, or in this case sneakers, their peers influence push them toward buying sneakers form a big brand. For example, the quote “Dime con quien andas y te dire quien eres.” Which translates to “Tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are.” People, especially teems, will be influence by their surroundings because that is what they are familiar with. People always want to buy from the most known brand. Due to this, teens have more Nike sneakers than any other brand. Kevin Smith is an American filmmaker, actor, comedian, comic book writer, author, and pod-caster, which believes that we must see the good side of sneaker obsession and believes it’s not a big problem. In his 2014 article, “The Science Behind Our Sneaker Addiction” Smith reminds the readers that course of generation to generation sneakers had been an obsession that teens can’t resist. Smith argues that sneakers being a big part of teen’s lives these days is beneficial and normal. Smith claims to let teens stay with their sneaker obsession because it makes them be more sociable and more confident to themselves. Smith says that being obsessed with sneakers is actually a good thing because it increases personal value to the person who buys the sneakers. Even Dan Cherry. An advertising executive in New York, says that shoes express teens individuality that allows other teens go approach him or her and get to know them better. The teens are “cool kids”. However, the parent network “Family care” in 2019 article “What’s up with your son and sneaker obsession” as a recent study they state that “{…} boys often have judgments about who has the right to wear these shoes. As in, if you wear them but you can’t hold your own athletically, boys are going to make fun of you to your face or ridicule you behind your back.” This is concerning because teens are increasingly vulnerable to bullying and danger due to shoes. The victims of this tragic circumstances are mostly young African American black males.

Increasingly, about 1200 people die every year because of sneakers according to according to a video posted Nov. 14 by GQ magazine. This figure is supported by Marc Bain a Fashion reporter which said his article “1,200 people are killed each year over Sneakers” his article. The reasons involved robbery, jealousy, hate, and safety. “Source Statistics Canada/ Staff illustration by Richard Johnson/ Charges double: *Violent-offence charges against youths increased to 855 per 100,000 youths in 1991, up from 415 in 1986. *Police laid 632 assault charges per 100,000 youths in 1991, up from 300 in 1986. *Much of the violence by children is against children – victims were aged 12-17 in almost half of all minor and aggravated assaults, and in about a third of sexual assaults and robberies. *Children under 12 accounted for 60 percent of victims in sexual assault cases. People over 65 were victims in one percent of violent youth crimes. Colin Price/ Lower Mainland teens face a new fashion risk: Violence. Vancouver’s Mirik Nowak (92-6804) (right) has dodged one attempt to steal his 49ers jacket. Fellow teens Rav Panesar, Zahra Khoja and Shelly Halliday (92-6804) (left) all have, or know of, similar stories. As for police, they blame a craze for status insignia’s, like the Bulls logo above. (92-6804);” Sneaker company owners have tried different ways to reduce the amount of deaths by changing release times. The first releases came out at midnight but were changed to the mornings. They believed this would cause significant change in the deaths, but owners then realize that deaths are happening after the purchases. Sneakers are becoming increasingly valuable for teens. Today teens are obsessed with clothing and shoes. Fights happen on the streets and school yards. Teens gangs are a big part of this. “It’s principally an ego-trip thing.” This means that for them the “cool way” of being in a gang is to have expensive things, so they steal. For example, what occurred to Mirik Nowak, “I was just coming out of a young driver’s course when I was jumped. Fortunately, I got away,” he said. “They ask for your jacket, they ask for your hat. It sorts of starts things off and leads to them beating you up.” Wearing things with a high value leads to thugs keeping a close eye on unsuspecting victims. There are no answers of when this is going to stop from affecting millions of lives, or even if it they could because there is no method to reduce the amount of violence and death. Parents are afraid their kids might be robbed, while teens are just focus on not getting bullied at school or in the street. They say that “at the end of the day a thug and getting beat up in school is the same thing, so for them is better to get robbed by someone than being bully every single day by the same people.” The danger associated with sneakers is something we really must worry about; Americans are killing each other for a piece of apparel. What does that say about what people find valuable? This has become a mental issue. Even though sneakers express our individuality, teens must put serious thought into which shoes to buy or wear. In this case teens must always be aware who is around them and the good or bad effect having certain pairs of sneakers may bring.

I don’t believe that the fault is in the shoes but individuals. The consumers made it valuable to the point where they became dangerous. Due to the teen life is focusing on a “visible” fake world and because it is away teens connect with each other to feel part of a group, a tremendous value has been added to footwear. Based on the previous information we know why teens are obsessed with sneakers. However, what gives sneakers the value they hold? I believe is all on the consumer on the importance they give it. Paper money is a great example. Money is valuable because as a society we all agreed that the paper is worth a certain amount. If society didn’t believe in money or paper currency it won’t have any value. Anything people consider valuable becomes valuable, even paper printed as money, making stone or minerals like gold, or even a piece of unique fabric. The point is that what is valuable and trending now is because society has given it value. Society is responsible for the dangers associated with clothing now and society together is the only way to correct it. In addition to this, sneakers are now posing a significant economic burden on lower income families. Since teen do not have a proper grasp on financial responsibility, they may waste a lot of money on sneakers just to “fit in.

I have personally experienced some of the struggles of not following trends. When I was in 7th grade I really didn’t care about what shoes I was wearing. I was more concerned with my clothing and often other students would bully me and say things behind my back, they even made rumors to start fights with me. To add on, sneakers these days openly show your personality and that is worrying because you wear a pair of sneakers but could face rejection rather than being welcomed. I have also experienced the danger of having trendy items.  It was a summer day and I was riding bike by myself. That day in the afternoon I saw a big group of like 10 young teen boys, 4 with bikes and the rest were walking. I started to wonder why they were looking at me so much and why they were separating and going different directions in a sneaky way. I started wondering that they going to beat me up and I started riding towards home. When out of nowhere I see two boys start running towards me. I knew at this moment they were trying to steal my bike. I started ride faster and finally I got home before they could catch me. As an older teen, I prefer and love $20 shoes that are comfortable rather than a $160 pair of shoes that are uncomfortable.

In conclusion, the sneaker obsession is more harmful than beneficial. While Smith’s does point out that sneaker obsession is beneficial when it comes to socializing and showing teens individuality, I found his argument is misguided. I say this because he is too focus on teens emotions and what others think about them, instead of focusing on what’s happening in the world. Deaths, bullies, thieves, suicide because of depression and more. This didn’t have to be an issue, we could have the shoes that make you feel like we are a part of something, but it doesn’t have to turn into an obsession that could change the way you are living. By control your own life and not letting fashion and trends control you.


References

Bain, Marc. “1,200 People Are Killed Each Year over Sneakers.” Quartz, Quartz, 23 Nov. 2015.

Family Circle. “What’s Up with Your Son and His Sneaker Obsession?” Family Circle, Family Circle, 16 Apr. 2015.

Intelligence For Your Life. “Teenage Boys Are Obsessed With Sneakers.” Intelligence For Your Life, Intelligence For Your Life, 5 July 2017.

Smith, K. (2016, October 20). The Science Behind Our Sneaker Addictions. Retrieved January 30, 2014, from https://www.complex.com/sneakers/2014/01/science-behind-sneaker-addictionain, Marc. “1,200 People Are Killed Each Year over Sneakers.” Qartz, Quartz, 23 Nov. 2015.

Grindlay, L. A. (1992, October 20). Dying to be this fashionable: Price tag for status clothing climbs to grim new high for students: [1* Edition]. Retrieved November 11, 2017, 

Elliott, R., & Leonard, C. (2004). Peer pressure and poverty: Exploring fashion brands and consumption symbolism among children of the ‘British poor’. Journal of Consumer Behaviour,3(4), 347-359. doi:10.1002/cb.147     Chittenden, T. (2010, August). Ebscohost. Retrieved 2019, from http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.rowan.edu/ehost/detail/detail?vid=0&sid=0bca6faa-4f79-4fa0-82f5-22f890bec515@sdc-v-sessmgr04&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ==#AN=52062897&db=aph  

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