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.