Identity America’s youth has become corrupted by how we project ourselves as individuals.
We have become too selfreliant on our image due to the opinions of others and because of that; keeping up with appearances can be a struggle. No other social class is put through this hardship than the lower and lower middle class social classes. According to the National
Center for Law and Economic Justice “Census figures show that, in 2012, 6.6% of our population, or 20.4 million people, were living in deep poverty.”(NCLEJ). A strong majority of that 6% cannot afford the glam and glitter of todays rising sense of the “perfect image” since living comfortably is not a feasible option. Since the lower class cannot match those of a carefree expensive lifestyle differences can occur and one’s sense of identity can be dramatically altered but in the end we do all share a common bond as humans.
My family constantly fluctuated between socioeconomic statuses throughout my whole life. Because of this, I believe it gave me a broad perspective on how I and others may identify themselves as individuals. Moving around the United States from home to home every other year with my parents and switching jobs constantly has always made me feel isolated from others. I never truly had a sense of home and making bonds with others proved to be a struggle.I made the best of what I had though, by constantly striving for as many friendships as possible and for the most part, I succeeded. My parents always made it seem like we were well off which made socializing with others easier. I identified myself as a well off privileged young man which helped me in the social world but behind closed doors things were a little different. Keeping up with rent was always an issue in my family along with car payments, debt, and the massive amount of bills to stay with our comfortable lifestyle. In the end we saw it all okay because we were able to identify ourselves with those of the higher class. This type
of mindset is quite painful in reality because though it may seem alright on the exterior keeping up with appearances can be an arduous process especially for those whom cannot afford it. Many people want the life of luxury but merely don't have the means to support that lifestyle. As Americans, wanting that sense of belonging has set the bar so high by those of the higher class, living comfortable lives, that many of the lower class are left in the dust. This isolation keeps social classes from truly bonding and identity as a person becomes convoluted Though social classes may be different we have to ask, what truly defines how we identify ourselves. Yes, money can change how we are perceived as people and today it does affect our identity but only because we allow it to. We allow ridicule to be placed on the lower class for not keeping up with the high standards of todays world. Melanie Scheller describes her experience as a young poor child saying that “Poor white trash were viciously stereotyped...on the playground”(Scheller 87) showing how hard it can be. These hardships do not truly only need to identify who we are as people because it is not the only factor playing a role in our lives. For example, race and gender define who we are as people and can unite or divide us just as much as money can. Also,