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Teens express why shoes are step toward success

Posted at 4:26 PM, Oct 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-11 02:33:41-04

KANSAS CITY, MO — KSHB 41 News sat down with six students at Southeast High School in Kansas City, Missouri, to talk about sneakers, the need for sturdy, good-fitting shoes and why it makes a world of difference to young people.

KSHB 41 Anchor Kevin Holmes: “The sneaker culture. Why has it become so big?”

Anthony Fuqua, 17-year-old senior: “For sneakers. If you look good, you feel good. You’re gonna perform good.”

Holmes: “So, how are shoes a form of expression?”

Nevaeh Jones, 16-year-old junior: “You can tell by what kind of shoes a person wears, what type of character they’re giving off. What type of aesthetics they like.”

Holmes: “Brice, you just mentioned bullying. Talk to me about that.”

Brice Owsley, 18-year-old senior: “People get bullied over their shoes a lot. It’s really common.”

Fuqua: “Yeah, if you don’t have the right shoes, you definitely will get made fun of.”

Jones: “People look at materialistic things as like a social standard in schools. So, the more you have, the higher you are on the hierarchy.”

Holmes: “Have you guys witnessed that?”

(Entire group says yeah, most definitely)

Holmes: “Talk to me about those experiences.”

Jones: “I remember when what are those was going around. You’d wear a certain pair of shoes, and they’d record you and say what are those?

Destiny Perry, 17-year-old senior: “They used to take your shoe, put in a code of the shoes on the internet. If they didn't pop up, your shoes were fake.”

Fuqua: “They wanted to make sure your shoes were fake. They wanted your shoes to be fake so they could make fun of you.”

Holmes: “They needed a reason to make you feel less than yourself?”

Fuqua: “It gives them a thrill I guess.”

Perry: “I never understood it.”

Fuqua: “As long as it compliments my uh attire.”

Talib Muhammad, 15-year-old junior: “As long as I think they (shoes) look cool, I can rock them.”

Holmes: “What does that do for confidence?”

Owsley: “It boosts it.”

Jones: “It definitely boosts it.”

Holmes: These teens say not having a decent pair of shoes can make it even more difficult to concentrate and focus in the classroom.

Muhammad: “I think it’s very difficult.”

Jones: “I think it’s excruciatingly difficult. You’ve got so much to worry about at home, and you come to the place where you could eat at safely, and then you’re getting made fun of or you have clothes you don’t feel comfortable in.”

Muhammad: “And then you’re going to end up thinking about it the whole day. You’re not going to be able to focus on anything else.”

Perry: “All because you can’t afford something.”

Owsley: “Then somebody gonna want to make a joke and record it or something.”

Jones: “Especially as a teenager when you can only do so much for yourself.”

Perry: “It’s just clout.”

Demi Banks, 16-year-old junior: “Like people literally won’t befriend you, if you’re dusty.”

Holmes: “How silly is that?

(Group responds ‘very’)

Perry: “And that’s how fights start too.”

Jones: “I feel like people are so self-centered. They don’t realize other people have stories, and they have things going on at home.”

Perry: “You never know what somebody is going through. You can’t judge a book by its cover.”

Holmes: “What about people who say ‘it’s just a pair of shoes. That shouldn’t mean anything.’ What would you say to them?”

Owsley: “They don’t go to school anymore.”

Jones: “We’re in a different generation.”

Muhammad: “I do believe to a degree they (adults) are a bit right. I understand both sides of it. I understand how the kid feels. I also understand it doesn’t mean anything, but you will feel like it means anything and everything if you were in that situation.”

Perry: “They don’t go to school They don’t witness it. They don’t see every day how a kid is being bullied because of their shoes or their clothes, so they could never understand. So just take what we’re saying. We see it every day.”