Social Influence Essay

2014 words - 8 pages

Social InfluenceThe way that people perceive us has a lot to do with who we become as people. No one wants to be the fat one, the ugly one, the short one, the gay one, the stupid one, or the boring one…if we can’t be the perfect one, then most people would rather be no one. This “all or nothing” frame of mind is caused by society’s tendency to shun anyone that does not fit into its idea of what acceptable is. Fat people are often ridiculed for being overweight and thus try all types of methods in aim of losing that weight. Crash diets, compulsive exercising, and eating disorders are just a few things that the obese attempt in order to fit in. Homosexuals are often ostracized for loving the wrong gender and can hence feel obligated to keep their love lives secret. The pressure to conform to the ideals of society shapes how we act, what we do, and what we say. If people cannot fit into society’s box of what is suitable, sometimes we will go to great lengths to make ourselves feel adequate. We try our hardest to make up for whatever it is society tells us we are missing, and perhaps the most influential group in society is our family. The great lengths that we sometimes go to in order to please our loved ones can be harmful to both a person’s health and well-being, but they are still sought after. My great length was purging.When I was growing up, I went to a school called Chime Elementary. We were the smartest school district in the whole city; the population was small, but what we lacked in size we made up for academically. The average student at my elementary school was white and wealthy; there were only nine black kids throughout the entire sixth grade (including myself), and one of them was mixed with white. Naturally, after growing up around these kids and the way that they behaved, I started to behave the way that they did. I enrolled into that school when I was in the fifth grade, and it wasn’t hardto notice that the students were all really good friends already; they weren’t going to accept me into their group unless I was like them. I was nine-years-old at the time, and Icould see that, but it was made painfully obvious once only the black kids started talking to me…and only a couple of the black kids at that. I dressed like them; I talked like them; and most importantly, I looked like them, so in a place where they were severely outnumbered, they were drawn to me. The problem was that I was unhappy. These particular girls were friends only with each other, and I wanted to be friends with everyone. So, I slowly distanced myself from the two girls that had befriended me, and made my way into the group of kids that hadn’t paid any attention to me at all upon my arrival. As I merged I started to talk differently and act differently, and sure enough, I became their friend. I hadn’t noticed at the time that I had been changing, but my family did. At home, everyone would always call...

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