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Have An Identity In Christ, Not A Consumer Identity

Don't let companies' marketing define you...let Jesus define you.

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Have An Identity In Christ, Not A Consumer Identity
Trinity Tew

Did you know, that by 2004, teenage girls spent over $9 billion on makeup and skin products alone? So, 12 to 17 years old spent over nine billion dollars on make-up. Wonder why girls feel vulnerable? Because of the companies and businesses that target teenagers, hitting the soft-spot that makes them vulnerable, coercing them into believing they need certain things to be happy. Constantly having "you need *this* and then you'll be content", "you should do *this* and you'll be irresistibly beautiful", "just do *this* and you'll have all the friends you want" thrown in your face makes sure you will start believing those lies.

Teens between the ages of 12 and 14 are particularly susceptible to accepting the "need" for brand-named clothing. Fitting-in, being accepted, having x-number of friends…peer pressure is a very real thing during these crucial years of our search for self-identity.

Comparison used to consist of who had the best-flavored Go-Gurt, but now 15-year-old girls are worried about which bra extenuates their chest the most and who can get the most attention from boys.

Teens used to competitively race for the most academically achieved, but now, teens hyper-competitively race for who has the most expensive outfit. Doing good in the world used to be a priority. Now, making the biggest entrance via appearance is of upmost priority. Brands tell children they can only be worthy if *this*. That not only blurs the lines of identity, but it also enhances the disapproval of those who don't abide by the new "rules" of society. Not having naked make-up is basically the end of the world. This is because (a) brands tell us so (b) our friends, who gladly accept this need, tell us so (c) we are harassed if we do not comply. Rejection has become more prevalent in the last twenty-or-so years because of the "consumer identity."

Can you guess why brands keep up the bad-work of targeting teens? "They are desirable because 'they're trend leaders and they've got the money.'" The way brands advertise and market their product has a lot to do with it. Celebrity endorsements, movie and tv-show participation, social media, radio commercials. What most people don't know is that brands collect data about their consumers. Not only do they note what time of day they are most likely to buy, but they also note the social media platforms used the most, the top aspects of identity kids are insecure about, what items people say they want the most, etc.

The technological advancements we have made are sometimes used to our demise. Through this, companies can quickly find our vulnerabilities and use those to entice us into buying their products, in order to cover those insecurities. Businesses feed off of kids feeling insecure. They make their audience believe they could become better if they only had *that*. Brands are telling us that our worth is based on having this-that-or-the-other. Companies are preying after teens' insecurities. Businesses are thriving on the susceptible teenagers who believe they must have *that* in order to fit-in and be happy. This is the consumer identity.

The identity you should have is based on Jesus.

Based on the things He tells us. He tells us we are forgiven in 1 John 1:9.

He says we are free. Free from sin, free from judgment, free from comparison (Galatians 5:1,13). He says we have hope. Hope for our future, hope for something better (Psalm 71:5).

He says we are gifted. Gifted with different things, and that no two people are the same (1 Peter 4:10).

He says we have purpose. A purpose far greater than comparison and competing for the flesh (Ephesians 2:10).

He says we are valuable. Much more valuable than the clothes we put on and the rings we wear (Proverbs 3:15).

He says we are blessed. And that blessing is shown in more ways than just the number of zeros on a price-tag (Ephesians 1:3).

"He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time," 2 Timothy 1:9.

We are beautiful, worthy, beloved, and holy. We are called by our Father, holy, righteous, and redeemed. Our worth is in the One who made all things. The One who knows the stars by name knows you. He knows you intimately. He knew you before you were even a thought to your parents. He knows the number of hairs on your head and your deepest-darkest secrets. He yada's you. He has called you to a greater life. A life with purpose and meaning.

He has called you more valuable than rubies. When you believe the things He calls you, the things of this life (materialistic things, acceptance from peers, the consumer identity)…none of it matters. Change your consumer identity to an identity in Christ. Change from needing constant approval of the masses to only truly needing the approval of One. Change from not knowing your worth and value to knowing that you are a precious child of the One True King. Change from being a consumer of goods to be a contributor of good. Don't conform to the consumer identity, but be transformed by your new identity (Romans 12:2).

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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