Saturday, September 09, 2006

Popular. Yeah. I guess so.

Popular Girls

I'll assume that this is not a mock site like one I was once showed that was made by Democrats that tried to insult Radical Republicans by creating an anti-Pokémon page with supposed evidence of demonic affiliation. If there's one thing I hate, it's a girl that tries to delude others by establishing a code of conduct that promises to make you popular but requires acts that will more likely drive people away from you.

First we have clothing and bag brands. Last year I had to do a project in my health class (this came before the baby, thank you very much) in which we were to evaluate the expenses for raising a baby in its first year of life. Although we know the cost is quite high and should prove prohibitive for teens, the figure — nearly $91,000 — was offset by designer labels such as Gucci for clothes to even diaper bags. The very same label makes a cameo here, along with other labels and their respective websites. (It can be argued, though, that Aéropostale is so commonly worn that it's basically cheap by now.)

It then goes on to mention pearls, earrings, and torn jeans if you want the Gothic look — I'm afraid that's all too common and detractive. For one thing, it doesn't make a great impression when you're taking a job interview or attending school for that matter, as most dress codes will want you to not have holes in the jeans. Unfortunately, the dress code at my school, which disallows revelation of the leg past the ankle except in cases of skirts or gym shorts, has been flouted so many times that I've just accepted it as a fact of life, but it's gotten considerably better since measures were stepped up in my sophomore year. And for another, the British have a name for people, especially girls, who deck themselves in excessive amounts of jewellery and vivid clothing — they're called chavs.

Next, what populars do. They go to the mall, have five way conversations, post provocative pictures on MySpace — check. It's all the same, thanks in part to shows on Nickelodeon, the Disney Channel, and ABC Family — we're at prep schools, tapping away at our keyboards and spitting out dialogue on AIM or chatting up the corridors by shopping at the mall. There's a store called Hot Topic in a mall near to me, but the clothing there is extremely expensive and many people know it; in fact, not many people from my area shop there at all.

They read the teenage tabloids such as J14 — that fails to extend into high school. If you want the material you can get in that magazine, go pick up the National Enquirer. I guarantee that fifty percent or more of what you read in J14 or Tiger Beat is fake and directed right at the girls. I feel terribly sorry for Jesse McCartney.

As for hygiene, I'm glad it looks out for clean hair and teeth as well as healthy skin. It also advises that you allow for better grades, so that's about the only kudos I'll give it there. It took me some time to find something positive to back up the 'don't be stupid' calls throughout some of the site's pages, but dang it, I managed it.

Believe me, being popular is nothing you want. Popularity, in a sense, is wanting to be somebody from the scope of power, influence, and ability. I was popular in middle school because I could use big words and seem as if I knew what they all meant. True, I did know what some of them meant, but usage was generally lackadaisical — I realise now that it takes far less pressure to say what you want in simpler terms or, if it's a big word, check the dictionary before you proceed. Unfortunately, this led many to believe that I could be tripped up, and even today I have friends stop me on the street and ask, 'What does supercalifragilisticexpialidocious mean? Who was the fifth president?' I sometimes answer lightheartedly, but when it comes to math problems, especially when they begin with the line 'I'm having problems with my work', not only am I annoyed, but my confidence back then comes back to bite me in the ass. Of course, it then raises the question whether it was actually thickly veiled personal resentment.

In effect, the very word 'popular' is undermined. The word is supposed to suggest few role models, but as soon as people follow suit, whatever is done becomes a standard. It's like being in a rave full of shouting moshers and a heavy metal band blaring onstage, and you're convinced as much as the next person that your shouting will somehow get you noticed. Now when someone does something differently, they're referred to as deviants, at term otherwise reserved for the 'popular' girl.

Now I just let people see my maps, especially handwriting samples. Now that I know better, I don't randomly spew out trivia and lift my head to assert its authenticity. I'm already paying my dues for all that, especially when I see the consequences levied on girls that try to fit in the crowd.


TestVirus101 said...

Well there's a thought, I thought that was actually quite an odd sight. I didn't read too much of it, I have to leave for school now afterall, but I did have a look at the dictionary... I mean honestly this has got to be a joke or a 'not popular' girl stereotyping the term 'popular'.

ShadowGX said...

Holy cow that was a good one. If my eyes did not decieve me you actually swore. O.o You said ass! xD It's not that funny, no...

Popularity has cursed me my whole life. I went from loved, to hated, to non-existant. That's in real life anyways. Stupid people... An' they wonder why I hate them.

So you used to be a show off? Big vocabulary bit ya eh? I'm gonna start to sound smart'er' 'cause I gotta practice the big words. Gotta love college prep classes...


Anonymous said...

Popularity is an illusion. Everyone who's not popular hates them, but willingly submits to domination. It's an utterly riduculous cycle that's only as deep as a person imagines it. Everyone's equal, and if you really believe it, popularity really falls apart at the seams. You can just say "No, I'm not going to be apart of this concieved notion that students are in fact not equal." It actually works.

In Japan, there's absolutely no such thing as popularity, and I love it. Students all talk with each other, all hangout, don't separate into "Jocks/cheerleaders/druggies/etc" and really act civil to each other. This is regardless of hobbies, opinions, or money.

I. Love. Japan.

And by all means, when I get back to the US, I'm not falling into the popular / not-popular trap. Seeing everyone get along really opened my eyes, and now I actually know that yes, students CAN all get along and DON'T need to have so much hate and mistrust between each other.


Yeah. Popularity is just a crude and misguided conception of student power.

ShadowGX said...

An argument to above comment: I'm far from popular, hate them and refuse to submit to them. So it's not all of us who fall at their feet secretly wishing we were just like them. I envy their looks at times, but on the same level I'm damn glad I'm not popular. Everyone looks at you all the time. It'd suck with all that pressure on top of normal pressures.