Thursday, June 18, 2015

Why is Popularity Important?

There are certain things in life that we all come across. I’ve previously written about my experience with pretty, and I have since thought about something else we all experience. Popularity. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of popular is “of or relating to the general public; suitable to the majority; frequently encountered or widely accepted.” To be honest, I don’t see how that ties into what makes people popular. It is my personal belief that popularity should not be a thing. It is interconnected with being cool, and I just don’t see why that holds such a strong value in society. If we’re looking at school settings in particular, we see distinct groups that are placed above others. Again, I’m going to question why that is. Why must there be a social ladder that dictates how social interactions are meant to be carried out, especially when the definition of popular changes as you grow up.

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I have never been popular. I’ve seen what it takes to be popular, and I was just never it. In elementary school, the popular people got permission slips from their parents to be able to go out for lunch. The popular people went to Mini Mart after school. The popular people had the coolest snack (Dunkaroos anyone?). My elementary school experience can be summed up with the final grade 8 trip: no one wanted to room with me, and the teachers called all the girls into a room to convince the rest of the girls to give up one night of the trip with their friends so I had someone to stay with. In high school, the popular people slept around. The popular people drank every weekend. The popular people could not be missed because everyone knew what they had done the previous weekend. As for me, I didn’t start drinking until university. In university, I’m seeing a role reversal. The popular people are widely known and well liked. The popular people are good people. As a soph, I got my first glimpse of popularity. I will admit that a soph complex does exist, and popularity is exploited in some ways. But for the most part, popularity in university has more to do with being respected as a person.
So with all this in mind, where does that leave me? Confused, to start. If the parameters of popularity are under constant change, than what is it really? How does it apply to people? We’re obsessed with the social ladder, but why does it have to exist at all? What is the point of popularity? Does it hold merit that can be cashed in for a prize in the end? I don’t think so. The truth is, I have no answers. I have questions, and concerns, and nowhere to go. What is your stance on popularity? Were you popular growing up?
-Daniella
P.S. One of my posts is going to be featured on The Blogger Collective tomorrow (June 19), so go check it out!