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This is Lily, and she was one of the most popular girls in school...and she hated it SO MUCH.
She wasn’t popular in the beginning. On the contrary, she was a regular girl with a normal amount of friends. All of them were great people who didn’t care about popularity, focusing instead on their hobbies and studies. Some people thought they were weirdos and made mean comments, although her friends didn’t care. But Lily did. When they were eating lunch, she would always look at the popular girls’ table. You know the kind – they’re all very fashionable and beautiful, and walk around at school like they own the place. Everyone wants to be their friend, and nobody wants to be their enemy.
She desperately wanted to be in their group – to get all the attention from the boys and be invited to all the parties. But it would never happen, or so she thought. Luckily, one of them, Emma, sat next to her in art class. Lily was pretty good at drawing, and Emma noticed and said “wow, can you draw me?” Lily said “sure”, and drew her the best she could. She even made her look a bit better that she did in real life, and she was like, “wow, that’s so cool!” She was happy but didn’t think much of it.
The next day she was passing by their table, and Emma called her over and invited her to sit with them. Lily was so surprised and happy! She sat with them and they gave her so many compliments, like saying that she was so different yet she looked so good, she had her own style. They were so nice, constantly complimenting each other – she just couldn’t imagine these girls arguing. Her friends looked over from their table and texted her that she should be careful with those girls, that they’re weren’t as nice as they seemed. At the time she thought that they were just jealous.
So she started hanging out with them, and at first it was great – they helped her choose her clothing to look more fashionable (or more precisely, like them), and she was generally considered a new member of their group. Lily now looked different, behaved different, and most importantly, felt different. There were immediate results – people were more willing to talk and be friends with her, boys showed much more interest in her than before, and her subscriber count on social media rose very quickly!
But soon Lily noticed that some things were not quite right. First, she realized that her position in the group was...weird. She was a new girl, so they didn’t treat her like an equal. Compliments soon turned into mean jokes, and she really disliked it, but she kept hanging out with them, because she liked being popular.
Secondly, she soon noticed how they always gossiped about other people. It was always like, “OMG have you seen how fat that girl is?” or “haha does this guy ever wash?” And all she could do was just laugh with them, no matter how weird it was for her. And if someone from the group was absent, they would say bad stuff about them. By that time she was miserable, and hated every second she spent with them, but she felt like she couldn’t just walk away. Her friends didn’t bother talking to her, and to be honest, she didn’t try either.
The popular girls were fake, and all the attention they received was fake too – like if a boy texted her or tried to talk with her, it was only because she was with the popular girls; they didn’t care about who she really was. By that time there were one or two new girls in the group, and she noticed that it was the same with them as it had been with her – compliments at first, and then...well, you know already.
One day, when they were having lunch as usual, one of her old friends passed by, and the girls at her table started to giggle and say mean stuff about her – like, that her hair looked bad, and she was such a loser, and blah blah blah. They were even looking directly at her and laughing, and her friend just pretended she didn’t notice it. Lily couldn’t take it anymore, so she said “don’t make fun of her, she’s a really great person and she’s my friend! In fact, all the people at that table are great if you get to know them!” Emma answered “oh yeah? Then go sit with them, then!”
All the other girls laughed at that, and she wanted to say something in response, but instead just kept silent. She was staring at her tray, and then suddenly thought “well, why don’t I, really?” So she stood up, and without saying a word, sat back at her real friends’ table. They were surprised and she said sorry at least a thousand times. They understood and accepted her back, and she was even happier than when the popular girls had accepted her.
It was funny to look at their faces when she passed by them in school. They tried to make fun of her, but she was happy and they couldn’t change that – and they were MAD about it.
Everyone, don’t chase popularity – it’s really not worth it.
Music by Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com