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The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of MAST Academy, since 1991.
The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Beacon

Senior Issue 2024
June 5, 2024

Trends place pressure on impressionable youth

Two young girls parody the idea of a Generation Alpha influencer. Screenshot of TikTok video by @garzacrew

Trends are something that is always changing, and recently, the newest sensation captivating the youngest generation of girls revolves around the concepts of aesthetics and youth. These trends not only dictate what they wear but also what products these pre-teens choose to use on their skin.

Girls as young as 10 have been seen on social media using products from companies like Drunk Elephant, Glossier, Rare Beauty, and Glow Recipe. The problem with this though is that a lot of these products that kids are using have anti-aging ingredients such as vitamin C, vitamin A (retinoids), and exfoliating acids like AHAs and BHAs which they don’t need. Products like these were designed for skin between the ages of 30-40 when wrinkles and fine lines begin to develop.

Not to mention, these products are also very expensive with the D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sun Drops from Drunk Elephant being $38 per 30mL bottle just as an example.

“They’re not necessary on young skin and I think the psychological aspect of starting an ‘anti-aging’ routine this young is detrimental. Unfortunately, I am seeing more teens in my clinic who are obsessed with aging.” said dermatologist Dr. Anjali Mahto in an interview with The Guardian.

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This raises the question amongst many concerned parents or older siblings: “Is it safe?” It is inherently unhealthy to obsess over something as trivial as aging when you’re only a kid and people think that social media is to blame for the toxic culture. Children thinking they’re “old” is something that can spiral into insecurities later on and even a fear of aging. Imagine how these adolescents will see themselves when they’re teenagers or even adults.

Children are obsessed with the aesthetics of their lives as well due to social media and the packaging of most of these products is considered attractive to kids.

“My eldest daughter and her friends are very into having an aesthetic look for their rooms,” said Jill Cotton, a mother of 2, in an interview with The Guardian. “A lot of what attracts them to skincare is the fun packaging the creams come in – and how it will look on their shelves.”

Another really popular item at the moment is the Stanley Cup, not only for children but for the majority of teens and young adults. More specifically the 40-ounce Quencher H2.0 Flowstate Tumbler.

Screenshot of

“I thought it was cute and I saw everyone else had one so I got one,” said 6th grade MAST Academy student Branca Lago in an interview with The Beacon.

On the Stanley Cup website, they claim that their product “never needs to be thrown away or replaced,” which for $45-$50 seems like a reasonable price.

However, people, especially environmental activists, are mad about the fact that people are buying multiple reusable water bottles which just cause more production and more waste and emissions than if that person had only one cup. Some influencers even have entire kitchen shelves or even specially-made cabinets for their Stanley collections.


Screenshot of TikTok video by @lindseyharbison


To put it into perspective, the production of one average-sized steel water bottle produces 14 times more greenhouse gasses than a single-use plastic bottle, according to a study by The New York Times in 2009.

“If your stainless steel bottle takes the place of 50 plastic bottles, the climate is better off,” The New York Times also said. “If it gets used 500 times, it beats plastic in all the environment-impact categories studied in a life cycle assessment.”

There was also a recent release of Valentine’s Day Stanleys which were made in collaboration with Starbucks and Target. This cup goes for $45 but is being resold for as much as $300.

Videos of people camping outside of Target to get their hands on one and then rushing in as soon as the store opens are also very common to come across.  There was even one video that showed a man trying to steal a box with one Stanley and people tackling him just to get the cup.

Children can feel pressured by social media to own the latest fad which causes them to throw out whatever is out of fashion. This causes a lot of waste and products that are going to end up in landfills. As soon as the new viral thing is released everyone is going to either toss out their Stanley or put it in their cabinet and forget about it.

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About the Contributor
Sasha Chernikov
Sasha Chernikov, Staff Writer
Sasha Chernikov is a freshman student excited to write for The Beacon. Chernikov previously attended Ponce de Leon Middle and although MAST Academy is intimidating to her, she is, “happy to be here.” Journalism is interesting to her because she loves informative writing and looks forward to “reinterpreting” stories. She would consider a career in journalism in the future. One thing you can expect from her as a reader is that she will “deliver the truth”, Chernikov says. You can also expect some sports profiles from her as she loves interviewing people and anything athletic.
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