Diamonds in the Rough

The choir boys weren’t the only ones defined by what they wore

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You’re walking the halls at Antioch Community High School. It’s the passing period before third hour and you’re curiosity strikes, you’re trying to learn more about your peers . Out of all the students you pass, you start to realize a common thread: nearly everyone is being defined by a label. Whether it’s by the Gucci flip flops one wears on their feet or the AirPods that stream music through their ears, they are being mistaken for the things they have instead of the person they truly are.

High school is a place where most teens use their time trying to discover who they are and who they want to be. With that being said, fashion can be an implication of who someone is; one can wear bright colors in favor of their bubbly personality, while another can wear a concert t-shirt to honor their favorite band. Celebrating who we are as people has never been an issue, it’s when people start to rely on their clothes to make them feel accepted that ruins the purpose of it.

Wearing Lululemon doesn’t make one popular; at the end of the day, you wear the clothes, the clothes don’t wear you. One of the downsides of growing up in a technology-based society is that almost everyone has eyes on someone else at all times. There’s never a moment when someone isn’t being judged. No one’s to blame for constantly feeling the need to be accepted because it’s the way society has taught us to behave.

According to Data USA, Antioch’s average household income is $81,406; compared to other surrounding areas such as Libertyville or Lake Forest, that amount is considered a fraction of those towns’ average household incomes. Additionally, one in every five students at Antioch Community High School is considered to be low-income. Yet, we’re more concerned about the brand on our chest or our hip, than the creation of equity that will allow us all to feel fairness. We judge by the similarities of others, when we really should be celebrating the diversity of our fellow Sequoits. In the end, who cares how much your family has and who cares about the cost of what you wear; we all bleed cardinal and gray.

Antioch is known for being a well-mannered community, but if all we’re doing is trying to compete with one another, are we living up to the name? Or are we degrading it? The clothes one wears and the brands one buys mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. When we all graduate, we’ll remember each other from the impact we made, not the clothes we wore to school. Instead of thinking about what clothes you have to wear to impress your friends, think about why they’re your friends in the first place. Is it because they’re good people, or is it because they look the part of someone you feel you should associate yourself with?