Beauty, fame and personality: The reality of homecoming royalty
Fall is here and so is the excitement about sports and football homecoming. It seems that this event epitomizes the very essence of being in high school: the need to exalt one's school colors, the desire to prove oneself in the sports he or she plays — and the dream to become homecoming king or queen.
But the homecoming week competitions no longer are characterized by the amount of talent one has, but rather by beauty and fame. Efforts seem unimportant; praise is gained merely through a win.
Geniality means nothing; physical attributes instead become significant. Every year, students criticize the unfairness of it all, vainly voicing how talent does matter and character is more important than attractiveness ... but every year, the status quo remains unchanged.
It will always be this way.
"Voting will never be based on just personality; looks will always play a part," said Live Oak High School senior Alejandra Curiel. Her statement is especially true in the case of homecoming queen winners.
How often is the homecoming queen deemed "unattractive" by society? How often is the winner an especially genial and well-liked individual? How about "popular"?
When most students, primarily female, configure the most probable queen in their minds, girls with the most status on their campus come into discussion. They then list the attributes that characterize each individual that assumes their position as the ideal queen: beauty, fame and, in many but not most cases, personality.
Beauty is perhaps the most influential quality. This is due to the fact that it is conceivably the easiest to distinguish of the three. The tricky thing about beauty, though, is that it changes with society; one style that was "hot" could then be "not" years, or even just months, later.
In this way, society chooses what is attractive and thus controls the means by which we, the students, vote for homecoming royalty.
Fame coincides with beauty, but not in all cases. When I say "fame," I primarily use it in the context of "popular," since we are talking about a high school function.
The "popular" kids in school tend to have the following qualities: confidence, involvement in sports and attractiveness. Some, of course, seem undeserving of the attention, but others are not.
Those who are deserving and well-liked are those who exhibit an affable disposition. Such natures may include amity and selflessness. Oftentimes, when a person of such regard receives popularity (in the sense that is defined as "recognition"), character is not the only factor.
In actuality, that same individual who has that pleasing personality contains beauty as well. How often is the popular crowd composed of individuals who do not possess the societal beauty to coincide with their character? Although it is possible, it is rarely seen.
Thus, looks will always play a part in the voting for homecoming queen, but personality, sadly, does not largely affect the outcome no matter how much we might want it to.
Unless society downplays the importance of beauty, homecoming royalty will continue to be configured by it. Who knows, it might change one day — but until then, we must face this function as it really is: a beauty contest.
Jacqueline Mullen is a senior at Live Oak High School. Her column appears every six weeks in Education.