Sail Away.

19 comments
Pink Silk Blouse, High Waisted Denim Shorts, Straw Fedora: Thrifted.
Nude Oxfords, Socks: Forever21.

So admittedly I've been hiding a little something from you all. I know I mentioned a week or so ago that high school was a corrupt place and nothing but a beauty contest. I said I had a writing post planned, but I sort of left you all hanging on what I meant. Well, some things have changed since then and I suppose I've been trying to wrap my own head around these thoughts before I wrote about them to you all. Well, here they are.

At my high school the newspaper holds 'beauty' contests. There's one for 10 guys called 'the hottest hottie' and one for 14 girls called 'the foxiest fox.' These competitions have been traditions at my school for God knows how long. The certain number of girls or guys is picked from the current senior class by the newspaper editors and represents the most attractive students in that grade. Each individual picked receives a name that depicts their personality. Something like 'The Basketball Hottie' or 'The Barbie Fox.' Posters of the chosen individuals are then put up around the school, and all of the grades vote on which one is most attractive and which one is the favorite.

Since freshman year every girl pines after being on the fox list. It's like an unspoken truth that solidifies popularity or attractiveness among your peers. When a freshman looks at the posters for the current foxes, most dream of someday being on the poster themselves. Including myself.

As a freshman in high school I was incredibly insecure. I longed for validation that I was pretty and that I wasn't at the bottom of the ladder when it came to social standing. I thrived when I saw the popular girls glare at me with envy when I had on a cute outfit. It made me feel powerful and worth something. So ashamed am I to look back now on feeling like this. What kind of person was I...? Since my need for social acceptation was so high as a freshman, I saw the fox competition as the ultimate way for validation of my classmates. All of the senior girls I looked up to at the time were on that list, and I dreamed of being on it one day, too.

But I knew I wouldn't. Girls like me didn't get on the fox list. I knew deep inside I wasn't pretty enough or popular enough to be on it. Although the adamant feeling of wanting to be on the fox list remained in my heart the past four years, my fervor for it gradually died down as I realized how silly it was.

I realized it's nothing but a silly high school beauty contest. It doesn't measure your intelligence or your self worth. It doesn't measure how real and kind you are. It doesn't measure anything but how people perceive you. Thankfully I learned all of this as time went on, but the selfish freshman in me still had a slight pang of wanting to be on that stupid list.

So that brings me my senior year. The year of a lot of ends and a year of a lot of beginnings. A few weeks ago at the newspaper meeting it was announced that the editors would be picking the individuals for the fox list. A few days later though I heard something that absolutely outraged me. One of the editors was choosing the list so that only people she liked were going to be on it. I mean, I know it's a petty beauty contest in the beginning but at least in years past a variety of social groups and personalities were represented. Not just the same, typical, popular pretty girl in high school. It just made me seething to know how silly all of high school is. It's all about who you know to get you places. It doesn't matter how good you are at what you do, if you're kind to people, or even if you genuinely care about making a difference in something. None of that gets you anywhere (at least here). The only thing that gets you somewhere in high school is beauty and having the right social circle.

This is the point I was referring to when I stated how corrupt high school is and I can't even do anything about it. Thankfully though the issue was solved soon after and a new list of girls was created. Although it was one that included me.

Part of me was shocked and part of me wasn't. I am so ashamed (you have no idea how ashamed I am) to have felt satisfaction and validation of realizing I was a part of the list. The tiny, selfish part of me that I've kept put away for so long reared it's ugly head. I didn't feel the anxiety and fear I often have of not being accepted by my classmates or not being attractive. For once I felt wanted. Like I said though, the other half of me was surprised. I mean, it was always something I wanted (as horrible and petty as it sounds),but I never thought myself good enough to be on the list. I always figured I was just the geeky girl who would lay low until graduation.

I want to use this chance though to help inspire other girls. I want to banish all of the selfish, conceited thoughts and feelings I have and instead do this for the right reasons. To be a minority that is represented in this 'competition.' To show other girls at my school hey- you don't have to party, sleep around, and be the most popular girl to be liked in high school. Being yourself is enough no matter who you are because you are good enough. No matter what anyone says or thinks. You are special and unique and...worth something. I wish someone had told me that my freshman year; so maybe it's time that I start doing it for others.

Please don't hate me after this post. I find it hard not to hate myself some of the feelings I have but I can't not share the whole person I am with all of you. Sometimes I am selfish and narcissistic. I wish I wasn't, but I suppose it's part of being human. Please forgive me for my teenage ways. I curse the feelings I have and the actions I take so often. I'm trying to work on myself though and be doing things for the right reasons. Four years ago I couldn't have said that, so I suppose I am improving and we all must start somewhere

With much love, Lauren.
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19 lovely little notes:

ofbecomingjane said...

Why would we hate you? You are being HONEST and it's OKAY to feel this way. I remember being in high school and finding out that I had made the SHORT LIST for "the list" we had for prettiest eyes. I took TREMENDOUS satisfaction in that. Hey, we're only human and we need love and attention and admiration.

I also found out years later that I WAS considered "hot" by a lot of the guys...but they wouldn't touch me with a ten-foot pole because I didn't sleep around. It was a double-edged sword, but in the long-run I felt GOOD that they knew better than to even try to mess with me! Obviously my convictions were strong and I wasn't going to be one of THOSE girls!

Embrace the experience and rejoice in it! Even you yourself said that it was an opportunity to show that the "minority" CAN win!

Maria said...

I'm really glad you're on that list Lauren. Now that a genuinely kind and beautiful person is on the list, there is hope for the quiet, lovely girls like you in the freshman year.

You really deserve it and it ISN'T
something to be ashamed of. Everyone longs for acceptance and to feel great. You should feel great, you seriously deserve to be on this list. And you've made a completely valid point: the list shouldn't be derived from the popular and pretty social circle. In fact, this competition shouldn't even exist, but it does and you are on it for all the right reasons. Enjoy it, you deserve it.

I love your outfit too, you look like a 1960's bombshell!
PS: I absolutely am certain no one is going to hate you for this post... on the contrary; you are being honest and telling us how you really feel AND making a point that everyone else is thinking. xoxo

silhouette said...

you look stunning!

Kezzie said...

I like the fact that it proves that things can be different! You're a teenager, of course these things get to you. When I think of the things I stressed over as a teen, I cringe a little but accept it. It's part of the teenage experience. The point is, you can rationalize your feelings and know what's what. And that's the grownup part! :-)

Charmaine said...

I don't hate you or think you're being silly - you finally felt validated. That's an amazing feeling, no matter the context from which validation comes.

Kelsey Kropf said...

You truly are a beautiful person inside and out. Don't get down on yourself over this, its natural to want to be accepted by your peers. Be proud of yourself, you have more self awareness, direction, dedication, and integrity than probably most of the girls at your high school. I just can't believe that your high school still allows this contest to go on.

Kathryn from Schoolmarm Style said...

No hate coming your way. I really enjoy the fact that you are so thoughtful about this. I do have to say as an educator I am pretty appalled that your school still buys into all of this. It seems like it would do nothing but promote insecurity and negativity.

Laura said...

No hate at all! Use this to really show what true beauty is: loving yourself and to be a kind person! You deserve it girl, because you are gorgeous!!

xoxo,
Laura
http://lauraisthriftingthroughlife.blogspot.com/

Felicia Marie said...

Wow. I didn't realize that EVERY high school was the same! That's exactly the way it is at my school! But, boy, that competition is kinda a rough thing to have. I don't see how a school could do something like that. Wow. But you definitely deserve it. One day all of those popular people that sleep around and drink and tan ALL the time will realize that none of that means anything and it surely does not make them pretty one bit.

Mila said...

It is perfectly normal to feel that way, Lauren! Don't be ashamed. I love that you're taking this as an opportunity to educate and inspire other girls--I know you have inspired me so much!

I love your outfit, it looks like you stepped right out of a summer scene of a wonderful old movie, or The Notebook. So adorable and summery! I love the whole thing. :)

xoxo

Marisa Noelle said...

I just read this over at Chictopia and uh, high school..moan. I spent the last four years working in one and you've hit the nail right on the head when saying it's pretty corrupt. So sad what society deems as cool or popular these days. I'm so happy for you...the list being a petty thing or not, it's just plain awesome that you can be on it and start the pendulum of change. It's the little things that count towards the bigger ones. You are an excellent example of who younger girls should look up to because of your character and integrity and not because of status or other meaningless things. Way to go Lauren. Don't be too hard on yourself about those humanly feelings...you are open and honest and have a sweet heart. :) xx Marisa

Two Buttons said...

You are so lovely, amazing and inspirational that I don't know why anyone would ever dislike you. You say the things that everyone else is thinking and it always makes me think. High schools are all the same though I can't believe your school does that still, does that. Don't ever change the way you are.

xx Emily

http://thetaleoftwobuttons.blogspot.com/

Emily:) said...

Dont be silly! We dont hate you:) Its your opinion and we cant hate you for that! Plus I definitely agree with you. Thank you so much for posting this:)
<3

Natalia said...

Lauren, having gone to high school with you, I must say...you are the absolute most WONDERFUL person!! You deserve to be the foxiest of the Foxy 14! I was never on the list and I was sad about it. Every girl wants on some tiny level to be on the list. And your lovely heart and beautiful face makes you most deserving <3

Jamie Rose said...

Congratulations on making the fox list as you definitely deserve to be there. You might as well enjoy the parts of high school that will be seen as completely insignificant and dumb a year from now. Just look at it as something fun instead of something super important and meaningful (as I'm sure a lot of those girls are looking at it). You're awesome and all the dumb high school things won't matter soon enough. There will always be petty, corrupt goings-on no matter where you are, though. Just take things with a grain of salt.

Tania said...

You sound like an amazing individual!! And you being on the list evidently signifies a change in the social structure of that silly competition. Why would a school condone such an exercise anyway? Sounds ridiculous. Good luck and I hope you can make some positive changes, you are powerful!! xx

http://t-mareeclothing.blogspot.com.au

Cazz said...

This is the best outfit on your entire blog. It looks so 90s. I love it.

Ulia Ali said...

You're one of the few bloggers that I really enjoy to read. Others have just pictures, pictures... But yours is very unique and so honest :) I think you totally deserve to be in the HOT list, because you're not only a great and interesting person, but also such a beautiful girl with loads of style <3

VIEW FROM HEELS

Katie Q. said...

High waisted shorts are my very favorite retro looks and I really love that you feature them on your blog. (And you look totaly adorbs in them.)
Congradulations on the list thing, but also on being so honest about your feelings about it. Don't beat yourself up too much about that either, we all secretly wish we could be on lists like that, even though we know in our minds they are silly. (Everyone likes some sort of vindication that they're pretty!)

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