Back when I was in high school, I was pretty high maintenance (even though I didn’t have a job). My brows were groomed every two weeks. My acrylic-wrapped nails were inches long. And my beauty mark, courtesy of liquid eyeliner, had to rest “just so” on my left cheek. That’s right, I, Annika Harris, committed these three beauty sins throughout high school, and even a bit in college. But only two of these cardinal sins embarrass me now. Keep reading »
An Arkansas high school appointed two valedictorians in their Class of 2011, because the student with the highest GPA was black. According to a lawsuit by 18-year-old Kymberly Wimberly (yes, her real name), she was told earlier this year she would be valedictorian of McGehee Secondary School in Pine Bluff, AR, thanks to her nearly-straight A grades, Honors and AP classes. But Wimberly’s mother is an employee at McGehee Secondary School and overheard talk in the copy room that school personnel were concerned that having a black valedictorian would cause “a big mess.” According to Court House News Service, the high school was “predominantly white and 46 percent African-American,” and the implication is that some white families would resent having the black student’s success. So, on graduation day, both Wimberly and a white student, who had the number two GPA at the school, were both honored as valedictorians. The number three-ranking student, also white, then became the salutatorian. When Wimberly’s mother tried to protest the principal’s decision at a school board meeting, she was told she had filled out the wrong forms and was not permitted to speak.
Seriously, people? Keep reading »
There’s that scene in “Mean Girls” where Tina Fey, exasperated by the high school antics, shouts, “You’ve got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it okay for guys to call you sluts and whores.” I had just graduated from high school when the movie came out and sitting in the theater, I couldn’t believe how much this line resonated for me. All of a sudden, I was transported back to those halls I’d just escaped. I could hear the cool girls greeting each other at their lockers with the words, “What up, sluuuuut?”
Reclaiming words like bitch and slut may have started as something political, something third wave feminist, but the words ended up in malls, emblazoned in rhinestones on baby tees at Deb and Rave. Keep reading »