In my second research round, I'm going to look into "fitting in ".
More specifically some questions I want to answer are
- Is not wanting to be different change how teens dress themselves?
- How do teenagers fit in?
- What does it mean to fit in?
Hopefully, I will be able to go into deep detail on what does it mean to fit in because I think that's an important question which may have different answers based on people's opinions.
Also, I am going to create a survey to see what everyone likes to wear and this will give me a good idea of different opinions on appearances.
Is not wanting to be different change how teens dress themselves?
From the psychological perspective, teen girls tend to dress like their friends for confidence and less vulnerability. Meaning if your friend buys a certain pair of jeans, and you suddenly feel the urge to buy them as well its because you are mirroring their style. If the jeans work for them, you assume they are going to work for you which means you might have a low self esteem. Overall though is a certain pair of jeans worth it, to help give you a boost of confidence?
Another point is that lots of teens try and dress the same as certain people in a social group they are trying to get into. For example if all the popular girls are wearing black and you are wearing black and white, you might feel left out.
Sadly, some teens have it in their brains that in order to "fit in" they must dress a certain way. Could we almost predict that friendship isn't about personality or kindness, but instead how people dress and their appearances? I found some interesting quotes online that teen girls said about appearances.
"If my friends are wearing it, it is cool. We dress the same way, and we all go to the mall together to pick stuff out."
"If you don't wear the same thing as your friends you feel weird, like you are on the outs."
"You dress like your friends if you want to be popular, I guess." (1)
How do teenagers fit in?
There are many ways to "fit in" at school and around the neighbour hood. Surprisingly, fitting in is more important than academics for some students. (3) Most teens fit in by keeping up with latest trends, and they look for approval from peers. For example a simple compliment about someone's shoes could boost their confidence for the day.
Another way teens fit in is by changing their behaviour based on what group they are with. They act and speak like the other members of the group which makes them feel like they belong. (3) Teens aren't the only ones who seek approval from others. Surprisingly, adults have some of the same problems with fitting in because they succumb to peer pressure as well. (2)
What if you feel like you don't fit in anywhere?
Sometimes teens don't feel like they fit in anywhere and one way to try and fit in is to join clubs that interest you. Having a common interest with someone is a great way to start a friendship or maybe join their friend group. Not to mention you could try and be more opened minded, try to be interested in the same things they are and be happy. (4)
Most importantly if you don't fit in, "so what", you will find someone out there that wants to be your friend. Don't give up and ignore the haters because they only hate themselves and not you.
What does it mean to fit in?
In my opinion, fitting in can be important to teenagers, but just having a couple loyal friends is worth more than fitting into a larger group. Changing your behaviour around different groups could be very dangerous since your other friends could feel betrayed, so I do not recommend that method of fitting in. Do you think fitting in is important or do you feel like you automatically fit in?
Overall, fitting in shouldn't be the most important thing in a teenagers life because changing your behaviour, clothing and personality isn't the right way to make more friends. People should like you for who you truly are.
Please take my survey because it will help me figure out what teens in butterfly effect like to wear. The link is attached below.
What I Plan To Do Next Research Round
On my third round of research, I plan to examine: Peer Pressure and Bullying.
Does peer pressure and bullying have an effect on how teens dress?
Does bullying make people try to dress better?
How does bullying effect how teens try to look better besides clothing?
Please feel free to comment and I'd appreciate it if you took my survey!