I’m often asked why I created Shine Sparkle Radiate by both men and women with a frown on their faces. I love this question because it opens the dialogue for me to explain my big, burning WHY.
As a teacher in international school education I have had the eye-opening opportunity to be close to and study students from all countries and cultures in both day schools and prestigious boarding schools in the UK, France, Switzerland and Spain. Whilst they are all unique and different… a cause for celebration in itself, they all suffer from the same pressures.
What are these?
Well, traditionally all generations have felt the pressure of growing up with so many rights of passage and new experiences. Hormones, body development, acne, greasy, lanky hair, the confusion of not knowing whether you want to be an adult or stay a child and of course, the feeling of not being understood. It’s all such a mess and no wonder teens act out, play up and push boundaries. It’s all about finding themselves, knowing who they are and accepting and loving themselves.
Now throw in a mix of peer pressure and friendship issues. Conforming to the pack rules is important if you want to be popular and have friends. Following the leaders, copying style and fashion cos you need to fit in right? It rules a teen’s day and is vital to creating identity.
Next we have family situations and pressure to meet expectations. So many families place heavy expectations on their teens to follow in family professions, take over family businesses, go to University and collect degrees and masters in “suitable” fields of study. Parents often block teens’ ambitions because it just does not fit THEIR ideas. Other families are struggling with adult relationships; separation, divorce, arguments and tension and these can have major effects on teens and add to their burden of pressures.
Now what about the “coming of age” issues? Dating, parties, that first vacation with friends, flirting, friendship conflicts, jealousy, bullying, kissing, sex…ohhhh gosh! I could go on but you get the point right? It’s a huge pressure for teens and they all feel everyone else is cool with all this……….. except them.
Next on the pressure list is media and advertising. Both play a massive role in adding to the pressure on teen shoulders. Huge billboards of scantily dressed and photoshopped models sporting perfect zinging smiles, no extra body fat and perfect bodies or the latest Teen Vogue scream to our poor teens in shouty voices; “you are just not good enough kid”.
Finally and for me, the most scary, is social media. Wowwwwwwwww, it’s crazy the pressure teens are under to have likes and followers on Instagram, Snapchat and Youtube. Don’t ask a teen what Facebook is mind, cos that’s passé darling! Watching them, phone glued to hand, pulling pouty faces to take selfies, accepting anyone, yes anyone who’ll follow them, posting barely dressed photos to fit in and increase followers, my skin goes cold and I fear seriously for their future. Technology is here to stay and I’m sure that things will get much worse before we wake up and realise that social media addiction is a serious threat to human relationships, genuine communication and the fragile self-esteem of our teens.
So, why does Shine Sparkle Radiate exist?
To help teens and women not simply cope with these pressures but to find healthy ways to overcome them and to thrive and live dazzling, vibrant and unique lives, being the very best versions of themselves!
If this resonates with you, do sign up for my FREE Start shining guide and follow me on Facebook (for us oldies) and Instagram (for us youthful ones). Get shining today!
More in my next blog post soon cos I have lots to say!