The Guardian has reported on research that shows what we all know – but is nevertheless a very worrying trend:
Children who cannot afford to buy the latest brands and fashions face bullying and ridicule by their peers, teachers warned … Research from the teaching union, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, says children are under heavy pressure to buy certain brands and products to fit in with their peer group.
Almost half of the teachers questioned in the research said young people who cannot afford the fashionable items owned by their friends have been isolated or bullied as a result. The research also warned of a “significant” rise in the influence of advertising and marketing on children.
Dr Mary Bousted, ATL general secretary said: “Advertising and marketing have made our society increasingly image-conscious and our children are suffering the consequences. Schools and colleges should be places where all children feel equal, but it is virtually impossible for schools to protect their pupils from the harsher aspects of these commercial influences.”
The poll found more than eight in 10 teachers (85% of those questioned) believe possession of fashionable goods is important to their pupils, with 93% saying brands are the top influence on what children buy, followed by friends and logos.