You know the song from 'Wicked' named 'Popular'? I was thinking about that song just today. It reminds me of a former roommate who used to sing it all the time. She was hilarious. And quite popular among our group of friends. Everyone loved her. It's a fun song, if you don't know it. But the chorus is interesting. "It's all about popular. It's not about aptitude, it's the way you're viewed, so it's very shrewd to be very, very popular like ME!"
I think alot of people view popularity as one of the most important things in the world. It's right up there with people trying to become famous. Fame. Popularity. They're kind of one and the same... it's not about aptitude, it's the way you're viewed. Popularity is huge in our society.
But what about unpopularity?
Adlai E. Stevenson Jr., who ran for President of the United States in the 1950's, said the following: "My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular."
I like that quote. Do you think it's safe to be unpopular?
In the physical sense, absolutely. I don't think I would be punched out for saying something that went against 'mainstream' thoughts, at least as long as I wasn't being racist or offensive. But what about emotionally? I've had plenty of times when, growing up, I was teased or made to feel inferior because of my religious beliefs, or certain family traditions that others found weird. Like how my mom didn't want us having sleepover parties with other kids. So we'd hang out during the day with our friends, but we were always home for bed. Looking back, I like this rule. It kept me from doing probably alot of dumb things. But at the time, some of my friends thought that was a little strange and would comment on it. That definitely didn't make me feel popular.
So in our society, is unpopularity okay?
I don't know what the answer to that is, to be honest.
Look at our society of "role models", and I use that term loosely. The celebrities, the reality stars. People who have given up everything to become popular and well known. Popularity makes money, so if you want to be rich, at least in Hollywood, you basically have to be popular. When people, like Mel Gibson, for example, lash out and say things that turn the public against them, they lose more than just a few Twitter followers. Mel Gibson's entire career was based on him having more people love him than hate him. And now he's floundering. Will he come back? Maybe, maybe not.
I've met alot of people who think they are "edgy" and "different" and borderline unpopular. I'm sure you've known this type of person. I'm going to be totally generic here, but this person usually wore ripped jeans, black shirts, chains and bright red lipstick. They were being their own person... except that every one of their friends looked exactly the same as they did. So... not exactly the unpopular people I think they think they are, if that makes sense.
I've also met truly unpopular people before. You know, the crazy guy on the bus with the wild hair and BO who you kind of think will one day come in and go totally postal. I always smile at him, just to make sure that he's my friend when he goes crazy. He's sort of unpopular.
So what do you think? Is it safe to be unpopular in our society?? Is popularity more important than anything else?
Until next time, have a good weekend, everyone!