Adults, Get Your Head Out of the Gutter!

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Heidi Penafiel, Staff Writer

Many teens, ranging from 13 to 19, are rapidly evolving every second of the day. Back in the day teenagers were going outside with their friends, riding their bikes, not thinking about their appearance and how they looked. But because of social media, teens care more about their looks, the new trends, and so on. Now that we have social media, teens now have ways to show their expressions and make themselves look more mature, causing men to have the wrong impression. Teens are now following new trends making older men go towards girls half their age. Teenagers are evolving and parents are not allowing them to evolve. Many teens want their personal space and would often need some time alone. Parents think that being with their kids will help them get better which in retrospect is not true. Teens want to be able to do things by themselves- trying new things, going shopping with friends, and talking to members of the opposite sex. Adults should respect the decisions teens make.

Don’t expect teens to open up or things will go downhill.  First, teens lose trust when adults try to get into their business. For example, going through their phone without them knowing. Maybe the teen is having a hard time coming out to their parents because their parents are strict and are asking for advice from their friends. If the teen finds out that their parent went through their phone they will never feel comfortable around them.  Teens will start treating their parents without respect if the parent is asking for too much. This will lead to having an unhealthy relationship between teens and their parents. Teens will start keeping things away, like their love life, from their parents and the parents will start to suspect that the teen is acting weird. This will cause them to keep their emotions to themselves which can be very exhausting. Many teens are going through depression, anxiety, and other issues. They need to deal with it privately with a friend they feel comfortable with. Parents aren’t always the solution to everything. Maybe teens like to deal with their problems with a really good friend instead of their parents. Sometimes parents are not really as helpful compared to friends.

Teens should be able to wear anything they want, including crop tops or skirts, without getting sexualized over.  Of course, there are some items of clothes that make the teen look older and more mature which are revealing but sometimes teens are going for that yet they still get looks from older men. This is very disgusting and unprofessional. For example, there was this one time where I wore sweatpants with a shirt to school, meaning that I’m wearing a bookbag, and yes, nothing revealing. Yet, the first thing I get is catcalled on. Do they not know I’m a student? A middle-schooler.  Many teens on the internet are getting lots of comments from men double their age, comments like “Wow so gorgeous”, “🔥🔥🔥”, and “Hot”. These comments sexualize the teen. There are some teenagers who really like the attention, causing them to show more skin, make more flirtatious videos, etc. This can lead to the teen posting sexual content even though they are minors which could lead to problems. This leads to teens always having to look at their surroundings before even doing anything. My mother, for instance, doesn’t want me to leave the house without pepper spray because she’s scared that men will approach me in a negative way. Also because I’m half Asian, she doesn’t want me to go out as much as I did at night because of anti-Asian hate crimes.

Although adults should respect decisions teens make, teens should be aware that making decisions takes accountability. Of course, there are some things teens shouldn’t do. For example, going out late in the night without a parent or a trusted adult. Teens should always carry pepper spray in case of an emergency. You never know what you might encounter. There are lots of pedophiles in the world and you might have even encountered one. These people are very dangerous, they might do harmful things to you that you won’t like. Yes, teens should wear what they want but they should know that there there are lots of risks in the outside world. For instance, lots of girls on the internet show their skin, like crop-tops, skirts, and other revealing clothing, causing men to start DMing them over Instagram, or TikTok, or any other social platforms. If you get weird comments from men double your age, you should block them and delete the comments. If they DM you, block them and let an adult know about the situation.  Teens should know that smoking is bad, your body is still developing. Even though teens are eager to experiment they should know how smoking is very bad for their bodies. Cigarettes contain really bad bacterias that could affect the body’s development. According to outside information, young people who start smoking will have a higher chance of affecting their lung’s growth routine. Smoking might look cool but it leads to very negative impacts.

In conclusion, teens should be aware of the danger they risk themselves with but they should also be able to have fun and live their lives.  Many teens have their lives at risk, they don’t know what’s right and what’s wrong because their mind is still growing, you might have been in that position as well. When you were younger, didn’t you want the newest designer bookbag to brag about it to your friends? Did you want to get brand clothes to look “fly”? Well, I mean, who hasn’t? Now that I have your attention, you, yes you. The one reading this essay. Let your teenager live their life. They need to overcome what’s wrong and what’s right in their life. Didn’t you have to go through that too?