The Niagara News is the community newspaper of Niagara College located in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. It is created and produced by the students of the Niagara College Journalism program.
JEN HARDY Columnist Seven in 10 female teenagers believe they are not good enough. This, according to dosomething.org, includes not being pretty enough, not being smart enough and not having a good enough relationship with friends and family. “A girl’s self-esteem is more strongly related to how she views her own body shape and body weight, than how much she actually weighs,” states dosomething.org. How teenagers view themselves is strongly influenced by their social surroundings, peer pressure and media. Self image issues can lead to eating disorders, drug and alcohol use, cutting, bullying and sexual addictions, according to justsayyes.org. Recently music lyrics have taken a different direction. Instead of singing love songs about relationships (good or bad) or broken hearts, the newest trend seems to be to sing love songs about yourself. Taylor Swift, Colbie Caillat, Meghan Trainor and Mary Lambert individually published songs during the last month with the same message: who cares what others think about you? Love yourself first and others will be able to love you as well. Singer/songwriters like these ladies have the ability to influence their audience, which mostly consists of teenagers who are still trying to figure out who they are, who they want to be and how they want to portray themselves. Instead of telling girls (and boys) they have to be thin, popular and mainstream to be liked, these singers use their voices to tell them it is OK to be different. It is OK to stand out. It is OK if not everyone likes you. And most of all: It is OK to be you. This change is the best thing that could happen to the media-influenced world. We hear and read so much about teenagers not reaching adulthood because they end their lives before life gets a chance to improve for them. About 20 per cent of teenagers will experience depression before they reach adulthood, and depression is not a disease to toy with. I applaud celebrities who use their status to show teenagers (male and female alike) that it does get better. Not everyone will like you, and that is OK.