We’ve all had it : the moment where you're included. Where it seems like everyone knows your name. It’s called popularity. And it’s a teenager’s biggest drug. More addictive than crack and sometimes more expensive than diamonds. It’s something we’ve all wanted at one time or another. How could we not? With all the movies and books old and new about high school and popularity it’s only natural to want to be well-liked. And I’m not going to lie it does feel good. Having everyone’s eyes on you, feeling their envy. Knowing that if something goes down you’ll be the first to be invited. It’s like you’re the center of the universe and yeah, it feels oh, so good. But what does it cost you? What does it take to be one of the populars? For some people it cost nothing. Their effervescent personalities and sparkling good looks make popularity a given. Maybe you’re one of those. And if so good for you but if you’re not then it takes a more than just being yourself. There are sacrifices involved. Becoming a popular is like having a corporate job: you work for promotion. Every time you move up you do a little extra. Wearing a little more makeup turns into wearing a little less clothing. Making fun of that one person may turn into looking down on the whole school. Then the pressure comes. There’s no pressure like peer pressure. It’ll cause you to do more than a couple crazy things. It’s like a silent killer half the time you won’t even know it’s there. But it always is. It’ll be there pushing that feeling of un-acceptance and isolation. It’s the thing that causes you to laugh at that joke that’s not really funny and might actually hurt someone’s feelings. It’s the thing that causes you to date that guy you don’t really like and do things you’re not ready to do. Pressure is a huge side-effect of popularity, but you succumb to it like all the others. But somehow you think it’s worth it. And one day, all your hard work pays off, you’re in! You’re finally one of them, a popular. But when you look at the mirror you don’t see yourself. All you can see is all the dyed hair and unnecessary piercing that got you to where you are. You are gone, all that’s left is the popularity.
March 23, 2011