In schools and on playgrounds, children are being bullied at an alarming rate for the clothes they wear, the way they look or act, or just for the sole purpose that they are there, and bullies have nothing better to do. It is every parent’s worst nightmare and every child’s worst fear. The fact that children bullied by their schoolmates for wearing the 'wrong brand' of clothing has gotten many leading clothing brands to stand up and create their own anti-bullying campaigns.
Today’s children are so heavily influenced by brand names that they will often bully or shun their classmates, even their friends, for wearing what they feel is not the “cool” or “in” brand. Cheap labels are usually the objects of scorn and ridicule and this has many parent and teacher organisations concerned.
Is Brand Awareness the Cause?
A recent survey of teachers found that three-quarters of teachers in UK schools think children's awareness of marketing is putting unprecedented pressure on parents, who give in to demands 'far more readily'. Almost everyone taking part in the poll, by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said they believed advertising was aimed directly at children and young people.
Dr. Mary Bousted, ATL general secretary, stated: “This survey confirms the huge pressure on young people to fit in with their friends and peer groups. It is incredibly sad to hear how many youngsters are bullied or isolated for not having the same clothes or accessories as their classmates. Advertising and marketing have made our society increasingly image-conscious and our children are suffering the consequences.”
Who is to Blame?
It seems that teachers and schools are pushing the blame on labels and not taking a hard look at the bully culture that has been a part of primary education for years. Brands shouldn’t take the blame as they are doing what they need to do to operate a successful business and many brands are offering high quality, stylish clothing at more affordable prices which has made it easier for everyone to purchase trendy clothing and avoid bullying.
Brands including New York’s Supreme and the UK’s Gifted Heroes, offers streetwear that not only looks cool, but it affordably priced. While some companies are pushing for new anti-bullying regulations, others are working in-house to make a difference and to make students feel safer both on and off the playground.
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