Unfortunately peer pressure is a common occurrence among adolescence aged kids today. Everywhere you turn, be it a news channel, social media or the paper, it seems there is almost always a story about peer pressure affecting an individual and their family. Peer pressure can come from a variety of sources for adolescents, be it wanting to fit in, pressure to conform to a group (like “brains”, “jocks”, “cool kids”), wanting to be part of a clique, crowd norms, etc. Another major source of peer pressure for adolescents is the media and the insane amount of attention they give to celebrities. This can pressure an adolescent to conform to what is “popular” at any given time. The biggest form of peer pressure put on adolescents, especially girls, is the idea that being thin and stick-like is the new definition for pretty. This idea is slowly falling out of the mainstream however, thanks to campaigns like Dove’s Real Beauty. Peer pressure is not limited or unique to certain crowds and the media however. Pressure can also come from bullies and that pressure isn’t limited to the school environment anymore like it was in the past. Bullies are now pressuring their targets through several different avenues in addition to school hours. Some examples are through cell phone messages and through social media sites such as Facebook. Adolescents are no longer able to escape the pressure and taunting of bullies, unlike in the past where it never left the school grounds. Currently, laws are being introduced and passed to prevent and protect children from bullies and peer pressure, but change starts on the individual and family level. If someone is a target of peer pressure, get a referral to a counselor or talk to another trusted adult about what is going on. Parents should talk with their children often and have an open line of communication on all topics. Remember, change starts with one person. Society has the power to decrease, or even eliminate, the effects of peer pressure on today’s adolescents and youth.