Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Popular Girls

I spent most of my life as a young girl (up through early 20s, actually) profoundly wishing to be a popular girl. I'm not really sure why, either. Perhaps it was because the popular girls were always pretty, or because the boys liked them, or maybe because people paid attention to them & that made them important. The popular girls always had the best clothes, the tallest bangs (this was the 80s), and seemed so with it & together.

I was the completely invisible shy girl who couldn't spend the night on Saturday because I had to go to church all day Sunday. I had homemade clothes and couldn't figure out how to roll my jeans tightly or get my bangs to stand up like that.

When I got to high school, I was still pretty shy, but not as bad as when I was little. I was a good looking girl (I realize that now, anyway), but I had "friends" (read: girls that I hung out with) that were generally accepted as HOT. Even now, in hindsight, I don't really understand why they were HOT & I could not be differentiated from the background. Confidence perhaps. Really, most of them were, well, bitches. They were not nice girls. Very mean and judgmental, even within our clique. A lot of two-faced back-stabbing. The joy I had felt at being accepted was quickly diminished by how catty & nasty these girls really were.

Because I was the "nice" one, guys would always befriend me because they wanted to get with my "friends." When I brought the guy around (never mind that I usually had a mad crush on said guy), they looked down their noses at him & treated me like a bad dog that had brought in something nasty. But, the guys were often persistent (these were teenage guys looking to get laid...they were desperately, sometimes pathetically persistent), & occasionally one of the princesses would cave & he would be accepted.

When I called them (rather meekly) on their behavior, I was cast out. In the senior yearbook, some of them bought "ad" space (where parents post letters, friends post pictures, etc.) & included group pictures from our high school years...with me cut out. A couple of them have since refused my "friend" requests on Facebook. I'm amused at what some of them have become, after looking down their nose at me. I think it's funny that I was always chastised as being "inappropriate" but the girl who couldn't say "fuck" without giggling halfway through (seriously) was knocked up before she was out of high school. There's a lot of irony for me looking back over everything.

I find irony rather amusing.

Over the years, I still occasionally have that pang of wanting to be accepted by the "cool" people. As it has always been, most people like me, but I have very few friends. I get invited to things, but I'm just not into the social, party lifestyle. I don't have anything in common with most of the "popular" people I know and I'm not really into hanging out with people who don't share my values. It's too tiring, honestly.

I think what I have always envied is the perceived confidence the popular girls had. The fact that they never seemed phased by situations that made me embarrassed and uncomfortable. I wanted that confidence. I hate being embarrassed and I hate feeling stupid. Somehow, I got it in my head that these girls didn't feel that way. I've since learned better. That at some point, everyone feels like a dumbass. Everyone cries. Everyone has been humiliated. I just haven't been there to see it.

I like who I am, for the most part. I like that I have 2 or 3 friends that would move heaven and earth for me if I needed it...and I would do the same for them. I like it that way. And after being cast out? I know I don't need them. When life has taken a shit on me, I dig my ass out of the mess by myself. Maybe that's why so many of them have since said "Wow, you're such a strong woman!"

Mama's Losin' It


  1. People that carry that over into adulthood will lead very lonely and unfullfilling lives in my opinion!

    Came over from Mama's Losin It :)

  2. What a great post. I bet there are a gazillion
    girls AND boys who can relate to it. I admire
    your openness and honesty. For what it's worth,
    I think you are TOTALLY COOL!!


  3. It is PERCEIVED confidence. Strength on the other hand, cannot be perceived. It's there or it's not. Good on you.

  4. Stopping by from Mama Kat's, after reading your post, you and I would have been great friends in school I think. I was never able to master the big hair either I now refer to that style of bangs as the claw lol. I'm betting if those girls saw what a talented writer you've become, they would be wishing they could be part of your crowd, you're the cool kid now!

  5. Visiting From Mama Kat's. Its funny how people thing snubbing others on Facebook somehow makes them better than everyone else. And really if you have two or three awesome friends how many more do you really need.

  6. Oh, my daughter is super shy too. I worry about her. I want her to be herself and not afraid to stand up for herself. I could care less if she is popular. Too much pressure there.
    FB seems to contunue on with the whole high school drama. Who has the most friends. But it is really interesting to see how their lives turned out and how stuck in the past they are. Very sad, huh.

  7. I'm visiting from Mama Kat's. I can totally relate-I was the shy girl, with the "wrong" clothes, who never quite knew how to fit in. That hasn't really changed, come to think of it, but I'm ok with that now.

  8. What great comments. :) Thanks! I enjoyed this was very thought-provoking. I m so totally happy with the person I am. I'm still working on the confidence thing, but once I stopped care what people thought, boy that was freeing. :)

    My son has also been shy & very agreeable. I worry that he won't stand up for himself, too. It will be interesting to be the parent on the other side. I hope I can give him better guidance than my mom gave me...At least I learned what NOT to do, right?

  9. This was so insightful! I can't believe some of those girls are holding weird grudges into adulthood. So immature...but big of you to request friendship on facebook after the way they turned on you in high school. Girls bug me sometimes.

  10. Yep, me too. Sometimes the drama factor with girls is a little too high for my taste, but I figured let bygones be bygones, we're adults now, right? Maybe not. LoL

    Thank you for the comment! :)

  11. Confidence is ALL about the "Fake it till ya make it" method - you may be wondering how in hell you are going to pull off whatever it is you are doing, but to the world you act like you've got a plan. Much like motherhood, I'm finding. Unfortunately, I've found a few "mean moms" in motherhood too...among those I would previously have counted as friends.

  12. Wow, can we be friends? I loved every bit of your post! I also wrote on this topic, but I think I'm a little Not against all popular girls, just the one I wrote about...
    I just moved if you'd like to visit me....
    Much love!

  13. Being in the "popular crowd" is for high school.

    I agree with Domesticated Gal above... there are "mean moms" and it floors me that some women are still playing stupid games.

    I am with you and LOVE your statement: "I have 2 or 3 friends that would move heaven and earth for me if I needed it...and I would do the same for them." That's what friendship is all about in my opinion. Stick with them!