By Maria Dassum
Fitting in can be complicated for everybody. However, the circumstances change from one place to another. Growing up in Ecuador, the popular trends, were normally introduced by American and international standards. Yet, it wasn’t always easy to obtain all the products in fashion due to limitations in trading or simply because of the lack of facilities in the country. When the “IPOD” became popular, everyone wanted to own these colorful devices, which would guarantee a cool spot within its community. Therefore, having all type of music in your pocket and being seeing using it with it customary ear pods was a look to strive for. It made you fit in with the “cool kids”, but it wasn’t so easy to get. The price in Ecuador was very high in comparison to the US, and there weren’t many devices available.
One classmate told me once, that she was saving money to be able to afford the new “IPod mini”. It was the latest and most popular thing to own in the market those days. She said that she was working in the afternoons helping her mother so she can raise enough money to purchase the iPod. Suddenly in the country the stock of the IPod mini was finished and the only authorized dealer in Ecuador couldn’t provide this model anymore. This was due to the weak demand of this product in Ecuador since the market only traded one model at a time. The local dealer brought the new IPod model that cost almost 3 times more than its predecessor. This made it impossible for my friend to buy an IPOD.
Consequently, she wasn’t able to enter into the iPod trend, which was a key element to become a “cool kid” in those days. She felt completely different and could not find a way to fit in. Also people judged her and made her feel horrible about herself simply because she did not own the product of the moment. She went through a lot since in middle school there is no space for being different, so it is important to teach kids that being different or not having the IT product does not make you inferior. It is important to teach kids from a very young age that having something or owning an expensive product does not make someone better or superior and being different is not bad, it is actually beautiful.