Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Question of the Day #363

Last night, while meeting with my critique group, we got into a discussion about being "popular" in high school.

From T's point of view, the popular girls were mean and put other people down in order to reign their queendom. S also remembered popular girls being mean and even recalled a day when she sat at a lunch table with some popular girls, and all at once, they got up and left.

G saw popular girls as the smart, pretty girls. And J, through her daughters' experiences, recognizes popularity as her daughters' athletic tomboyish girlfriends.

"They're confident, smart, and competitive," J said. "People are drawn to that."

Well before our conversation, G had asked her daughter, "What makes someone popular? Is it how much money they have? How attractive they are? How smart they are?"

Her daughter looked at her like she was nuts. "I don't know Mom. It's not like that. There really aren't any popular kids at my school."

G had laughed, fully knowing that her daughter and her friends were the coolest of cool. Even if they didn't see it.

And as an adult and a mom, T, who had never been popular growing up really wanted to crack the popular code. She still wanted to know, what was it that made the cool kids cool?

"It's completely subjective," I said. "My friends and I were popular in high school. But I was never mean to anyone. Sure, if you came at me, I'd fire back. But I'd never purposely put someone down. That had happened to me when I was younger. I wouldn't do that to someone else."

"Did you get good grades?" G asked.

"No," I giggled. "We were way too busy having fun to care about grades. But remember, it was a long time ago. We didn't have to care about school. You didn't have to be a genius and a peace prize winner to get into college."

"So what do you think made you popular?" T asked.

"Being nice. Friendly. Being like, 'hey come on! Let's go have fun...'" I mocked my spazzy high school voice.

It was after 11:00 PM. Someone yawned. We'd been discussing popularity for an hour. But on the way home, I continued to think about it and realized the subject was question worthy.

What did (or does) being "popular" mean at your high school? How did or didn't it affect you?



  1. Thankfully our class was friendly all around to one another. There were a few cliques but not mean ones. As it affecting me, I was in so many activities that I'm not sure it affected me much. The class ahead of us though had a group of girls that we called The Gucci Girls, they were very materialistic and yes, pretty. But even though they were known as popular, they would not have won prom or homecoming queen as there wouldn't be enough people that liked them to vote for them!

  2. When I was in high school it was the smart & athletic people that were popular.

  3. We had lots of cliques at our school. The popular kids were generally kids of wealthy parents, wore all the right labels, were good looking, and partied a lot. Some were intelligent, some weren't. Some were nice, some weren't.

    Wereas my group of friends (sort of a clique by default) were more like the misfit toys from claymation Rudolf show. A little bit of everything all mixed up. heh! :)

  4. T's point of view -- definitely. But what's funny now, especially with the likes of Facebook and people's willingness to post old pictures, I realize those girls were just partiers. I always thought I was missing out on something, but when I look at their pics now, they were just a bunch of drunks. Well, at least some of them ... ;)

  5. I agree with ya Suzie...I was voted "Most Popular" and just being nice, friendly, and talking to anyone/everyone is what got me there. Everyone is locked into their clicks sitting in their seperate corners and staying quiet. I was much to loud for any of that! ha ha
    The athletes are always deemed the "popular ones"...well maybe because we were the only ones at the school til 5pm every night with practices. :)

  6. It was popular to pick on ME in highschool. Then it became popular to drink and smoke in school. It was the bad boy/girl thing.

    I gained my popularity when I was at a basketball game one night and the police caught us drinking in the parking lot. They made us follow them into the gym in front of the whole school and then I was popular. Pretty silly isn't it?

  7. In my school, it was the pretty girls who were popular...the girls who had boys falling at their feet. I loved to know where these girls are today!

  8. In my (unpopular) experience, Hotness = Popularity.


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