This Is the End of Insanity

May 24, 2009
Our society has gone insane. I have almost lost hope.

There are girls whose lives revolve around every issue of US Weekly or Seventeen magazine. Magazines aim to be a good influence on the teen girls of America, but they’re destroying them. On the front page, they have a picture of an unrealistically gorgeous girl, who is unrealistically thin. On the inside, there’s an article on self esteem, and why you should love your body. But just a few pages from that, there’s FOUR articles on diets that’ll make you lose weight in a snap! Any girl who is under seventeen should NOT be dieting. It’s gotten to the point where 80% of fourth grade girls have been on a fad diet. These ‘fad’ diets mostly consist of starvation or puking. Now imagine your younger sibling starving or hurling up in the bathroom because it’s ‘in.’ Let me know how much your heart aches. Who started this idea of skinny being beautiful and necessary? The marketing industry did and we allowed it to happen.

Americans spend an average of $12.4 billion on cosmetic procedures a year. This image of being young and skinny costs way too much. With that kind of money, we could be saving the lives of children with cancer, the starving families in our own country, or improving our educational system to where the United States IS in the top ten countries for education. How is such a dominant and thriving country like ours supposed to survive when the average person has the literacy of an eighth grader? We just can’t compete.

It’s not just the girls that are being targeted to be skinny anymore. One million men and boys suffer from anorexia in the United States. Guys are pressured to be one of two things: bulging with muscles, which pushes more boys to steroid abuse, or skinny, which the assistance of drugs is often needed to be consistent.

Speaking of drugs, if you ask a teenager why they smoke weed or get drunk out of their mind, they give the dumbest answers. “Because I was bored,” or “My friends were doing it,” or my personal favorite “Just cuz.” Then there are those that say their life is so difficult that they need help to coop. Oh really? The boy in Africa who just saw his mom get raped and his father decapitated doesn’t want to get hammered. The daughter in Malaysia whose parents just sold her to a local human trafficker so that the rest of their family could eat for one more day, doesn’t want to smoke pot. The boy in Iraq with clothes soaked in the blood of his brother from a stray bullet does not want to light a cigarette. None of them would want to do any kind of drug to help them with reality. They would trade everything to be able to go to school, come home to a family, a pantry full of food, and a surrounding atmosphere that doesn’t scream pain or bleed hate. So the next time you decide you need to take a quick hit and you start making up excuses, shut up. You have no excuse.

I am tired of a generation that wastes its time with television instead of appreciating what’s left of nature. I am tired of a generation that would rather mutilate itself, than help others. I am tired of a generation that refuses to care. We have a lot on our shoulders, we need to care. There is so much debt from our parents’ and grandparents’ mistakes that we must take in our hands. There is so much harm to our earth that we must try to undo. There is so much tension and hate between countries that we must try to heal, before it is too late.
From the ashes of disaster, rise the roses of success. Will we have the strength to rise when the time comes?





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Kristin S. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 14, 2009 at 4:43 pm
I think you should read "The Gospel According to Larry." by Janet Tashjian. I think you'd love it. It's all about being non-commercial and consumerism. (I'm not exactly sure if that's a word.. but oh well. :D) Great article! Loved it!
 
bethanibubbles said...
Jun. 10, 2009 at 12:16 am
This is very well described. You are a good writer and have chosen a good topic to get people's attention. Keep writing and choosing topics like this! You can make a difference with even simple articles!
 
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