Stop Hating on Children

Hey, Stop Hating On Children

From Fortnite dances to fidget spinners, why is it so easy to be hostile towards the things literal children enjoy?

Elli
Elli
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I was born at that really odd time at the edge of two generations. Am I a Millennial? Am I in Gen Z? Hard to tell, especially because each website, book and study says something different. In the end, I find myself relating to both generations in different ways, maybe leaning a bit towards the Millennials. I remember when my family bought our first DVD player, I remember those old Disney Channel shows, too, and I was 12 when my mom finally got rid of her flip phone. But I also spend way too much time watching Tiktoks and got addicted to my smartphone at the ripe old age of fourteen, so I guess I have some things in common with Gen Z too.

This weird hybrid state I find myself in might be fueling this article. As someone who can relate to both of this generations, I remember hearing people a few years older than me complain about how adults just didn't understand them, how Gen X was full of people who just hated on Millennials so much and had no empathy. Didn't they remember being kids? I've felt the same way at points in my life. And that's why it's so confusing to me to see those same Millennials turn and ridicule Gen Z for their trends. The very people who claimed they would never act like this have turned around and started to do exactly what they said they wouldn't. And honestly? Why be surprised?

It's hard to realize you're not cool anymore. And, older Millennials, I hate to break to you, but you're not cool anymore. Ten-year-olds look at you and think you're old and boring. I mean, you don't even know what tea is, or how to get lit. You don't understand the latest memes anymore. What's up with that weird picture of Pikachu everyone's sharing? I mean, really, Gen Z just has really dumb humor, right? They don't say bae anymore, and they think your clothes look stupid, and all those memes you were making in 2010 are so incredibly irrelevant to them. They're the dumb ones, right?

I think this is a struggle every generation has faced. Growing up and realizing that suddenly you aren't the ones dictating what's relevant and cool and what "the kids these days" are into can be a bit of a shocking thing. However, that isn't an excuse. There is absolutely no reason to be hateful towards the innocent things the next generation enjoys.

Millennials acting like the things children and teenagers like now are all stupid is the same as when we were made fun of for silly bands, selfies, Harry Potter, old Disney shows, and other harmless things we enjoyed as children. We shouldn't put down the next generation because they have their own sense of humor. If we do, we're setting ourselves up to be just like the one before us, despite all our promises that we would never be like that, that we'd understand our children.

The truth is, every generation in recent history has had weird fads. Every generation has had its dumb things that don't make sense to the previous ones. And yet look how it all turned out. The vast majority of people grow up to be good, productive members of society. I think we should be less critical of the next generation, and remember that in the end, we're all living on this planet together. We've got to take care of each other because we'll never get anywhere by tearing each other down.

So let the kids do their Fortnite dances. Let the teens say "yeet" every time they do anything. Let the children do what children do best: things that seem dumb to older people, but are infinitely funny to them. It's not hurting you, is it?

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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.

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Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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Terrors Behind "Toddlers & Tiaras" - Beauty Pageants Need To Go!

Why Honey Boo Boo is not the girl we should be idolizing...

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Honey Boo Boo is famous for her extravagant persona, extreme temper tantrums, overwhelming attitude, and intense sassiness. All of these qualities are shared by many other young girls who participate in beauty pageants - not just in "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" but also in TLC's notorious "Toddlers & Tiaras," a show that depicts the horrors of little girls who have dedicated their childhood to winning the crown.

These shows, and the pageants they glorify do nothing but force girls to grow up too quickly, send negative messages to viewers and participants and pose health risks for the girls involved.

Therefore, beauty pageants for young girls should be abolished.

The hypersexualization that takes place in these pageants is staggering. Not only are young girls' minds molded into having a superficial view on beauty, but they are also waxed, spray-tanned, given wigs, retouched in pictures, injected with Botox and fillers, and painted with fake abs and even breasts.

Sexy is the goal, not cute. Girls of ages 2-12 wear skimpy clothing, accentuating only their underdeveloped bodies. A 4-year-old girl on "Toddlers and Tiaras" once impersonated Dolly Parton with fake breasts, another dressed as Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman (so basically, a prostitute), and another even pretended to smoke a cigarette to look like Sandy from Grease.

In Venezuela, people are so obsessed with pageants that they send their daughters to "Miss Factories," to train them to win. At these factories, underage girls undergo plastic surgery and hormone therapy to delay puberty in attempts to grow taller. In addition, they often get mesh sewn onto their tongues so that they are physically incapable of eating solid food. This idea of taking horrific measures to look slimmer is not unique to Venezuela. A former Miss USA explained that she would "slather on hemorrhoid ointment, wrap herself up with Saran wrap, and run on a treadmill with an incline for 30 minutes to tighten her skin and waist up." Many countries, including France and Israel have banned child beauty pageants because it is "hypersexualizing." Why has the US yet to follow in their footsteps?

Additionally, the pageants strip their young contestants of a childhood by basically putting them through harsh child labor. Oftentimes, girls as young as 18 months old participate in pageants. There is no way that a girl under 2 years old has the capacity to decide for herself that she wants to participate in a beauty pageant. Not to mention, education often takes a backseat in pageant girls' lives as long practice sessions interfere with sleep and homework. This causes long-term distress for the contestants, including widespread unemployment for former pageant girls.

Moreover, these pageants tie self-worth and self-esteem to attractiveness. They teach girls that natural beauty and intelligence are not enough, when in actuality they should be doing the opposite. In fact, 72% of pageant girls hire coaches to train girls to be more "attractive."

Finally, these pageants pose potent health risks for the girls competing. Not only do intense rehearsals interfere with their sleep cycles, but they are also impacted by the harmful methods taken to keep them awake. One example is Honey Boo Boo's "go go juice" - AKA a mixture of Mountain Dew and Red Bull. She is known for drinking this continuously throughout pageant days to stay awake and energetic - but the health risks associated with the drinks, let alone for such a young girl, are completely ignored.

And, the future health problems associated with pageantry cannot be looked past. Participating in beauty pageants as kids leads to eating disorders, perfectionism, depression - in fact, at least 6% suffer from depression while competing. "The Princess Syndrome," as Psychology Today calls it relates to a small study published in 2005 that showed that former childhood beauty pageant contestants had higher rates of body dissatisfaction. This sense of dissatisfaction can so easily be translated to more severe mental and physical health issues, including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. The average BMI (Body Mass Index) of a Beauty Contestant in the US in 1930 was 20.8, which is universally in the middle of the "healthy" range. In 2010, it was 16.9, which is considered underweight for anyone.

So, despite the entertainment these shows and pageants provide, they should most definitely be stopped due to the immense amount of issues they cause for those involved and those who watch.

Although Honey Boo Boo is (sadly) considered one of America's sweethearts, her experience in pageantry has certainly not been a positive influence in her life nor in the lives of her fans - and this is the case for nearly all young pageant girls.

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