Social Influence

Essay by JBabyCollege, UndergraduateA, December 2007

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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;...