If you please, don't stereotype me

September 29, 2008
By Ellie Durling PLATINUM, Chevy Chase, Maryland
Ellie Durling PLATINUM, Chevy Chase, Maryland
28 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Every morning I don a plaid skirt
And you see stripes of red, green, yellow and blue—
Like color vomit.

I wear a white polo shirt
And you think that I don’t realize
It was made by a worker in an impoverished nation.

Every day my hair is pulled into a perky ponytail
You see my hair bouncing cheerfully—
And imagine me in a preppy grosgrain ribbon and madras.

You see what you want to see…
You see me as that stereotype:
A Prep. A Country Club Girl.
A Private School B**h.
You glance at my loafers,
At my cable knit sweater,
And your mind sticks me under that file,
“Private School Girl”

What you don’t know:
I have never attended a country club.
I hate lacrosse.
I reduce, reuse and recycle.
My polos aren’t Lacoste—they’re Old Navy
I don’t own a pearl necklace.
And I have never once looked down on you
And thought, “Ew. Public School Trash.”

What you don’t realize:
That “Private School Girl”
Is just like you
She just chooses to wear her uniform with pride.

So, if you please, don’t label me,
Don’t glance at my plaid skirt
And envision a life for me free of any worry
besides the brand name on my shirt.
My life isn't like Gossip Girl,
and, really, I'd rather not be Blair.


The author's comments:
I do attend a private school, and I have met plenty of people who imagine me to be a certain type of person because of it. If you are one of them, I understand your assumption, but take it with a grain of salt--and remember that few "private school kids" are nothing but the prep you see on the outside.

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