My typical morning
 
I wake up at 6:30 after already slamming the snooze button once. Sometimes I’ll hit it again, depending on how exhausted I am. Groggily, I’ll make my way to the shower. I’m dressed by 7:00 (my body functions slowly in the morning) and feed myself (and my goldfish.) I pack up my backpack, most of the time not succeeding in stuffing each book back in. I take a little bit on time to put some cover-up on my zits, maybe a little mascara. Most days I don’t even get a chance to blow-dry my hair. I pull it back in a messy wet bun, throw on a sweatshirt, pull on my high tops, grab my backpack and am out the door by 7:30.
 
What’s the big deal about a beauty routine?
 
There is none. No excessive make-up, straightened curled or gelled hair, brand name clothes or anything. In fact, I’m probably the one girl in my school who doesn’t even own a hair straightener.
 
At school, I see people showing off the latest Hollister sweatshirt, their $300 Coach sunglasses and the new charm they got for their Juicy Couture charm bracelet. I just smile and nod, while thinking of how close my Costco jacket is to their North Face. It can be especially insane at my small private school.
 
Many of my friends wear them too: Prada, Victoria’s Secret, I’ve seen them all. Every day they spend valuable sleeping time fixing their hair just right, or making their face perfect. They spend hours shopping for the cutest clothes, the newest styles.
 
I can’t say I’ve never been pulled by the draw of brand names and perfecting my looks. In sixth grade, I spent a good portion of my money on clothes from Abercrombie. Soon, I found myself one of the many walking billboards (or “Crombie Zombies”) roaming the middle school halls. And you know what? I didn’t feel any better about myself. I didn’t become a new person, or magically move up in social status.
 
I must admit, I am thankful I broke this trend in the beginning of seventh grade, considering all the money I spent on brand names during that small stretch of time. My friends stayed my friends, and, if anything, I feel closer than ever to them now my appearance is almost the least of my worries. I’m still not flawless though, my brand name Chucks are my favorite shoes in the world.

Now, I’m not saying you should throw out your nice clothes, or even stop buying brand names. I suppose all I’m saying is this: be yourself. Wear what you like, add a layer of makeup if you have too. Learning this at a younger age helped me to be happier now. I hate to use a cliché, but it’s your inner beauty that matters most: your personality. Honestly, if that wasn’t true, it wouldn’t be repeated so often. Once you realize this, you’ll be much happier than a new Gucci handbag can make you. “Beauty queen” doesn’t always have to mean appearance. 

Brand Aware

Most teens and tweens, 85 percent, believe that people will buy or use a specific product because it is mentioned on TV.