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Dear Dish-it: Is Popularity Worth It?

July 26, 2013

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Dear Dish-it,

I am popular but I'm starting to wonder if it's worth the trouble. In the morning, it's such an effort to make sure that I look perfect. I play sports, participate in after-school clubs, do gymnastics, run the student council, write for the school newspaper and maintain straight A's. I do all that while trying to keep my popularity. Hiding behind this fake smile is starting to get to me. Is being popular worth it?

Confused

Dear Confused,

Whether you're in middle school or high school, you've got a lot on your plate. It's great that you participate in so many extra-curricular activities all while getting straight A's. That will look great on your college application. But popularity shouldn't be on that list. Popularity isn't an activity or something that you need to maintain, like your grades. It's something that you should simply be, naturally, not because of how you dress or do your make-up. Being popular should come from the fact that you're a nice person, someone who treats everyone well and is therefore liked by others.

What Popularity Really Means

Over the years, the term popularity has become misconstrued. By definition, popularity means being liked, admired or supported by many people. Nowadays, it has come to mean someone who is good looking, known by many people, and oftentimes treats "unpopular" people poorly. To become someone truly popular, both in school and in the rest of your life, just remember to be kind and confident. Worry less about how you look, and more about how you present your personality to the world. It is better to have a few friends who you can trust and respect and who feel the same about you than it is to have a ton of people who think you're pretty.

Be Yourself

So in answer to your question, no. Popularity by today's standards is not important. You shouldn't have to put on a fake smile just to please other people. It's more important to be kind and to be yourself, and if others don't like you for who you are, it's their loss for missing out on a good thing.

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