Thematic Implications: Popularity Contest?

The only thing that really annoys me about One Tree Hill is that they make it seem like the only way that a person can have fun in high school is to be in the popular crowd. It ultimately comes down to the argument of individualism vs society.

Many characters in OTH have many unique characteristics and hobbies, and yet they all still conform to others in high school. An example of this would be Peyton Sawyer. It began when her character was expounded. She was a cheerleader who’s the least cheeriest person in the world, ironically. She’s belongs to the popular crowd but felt most of an outsider. She’s angry and she’s alone and most of the time she uses her selfish boyfriend Nathan as an excuse to be mad with despair. She is an individual because she has the amazing talent of being an artist. She draws from her inner most feelings to create works of art that mean something. In episode “Where I end and you begin,” I was captivated instantly with her ritualistic recklessness whenever her mother’s death anniversary arrives. She would dash into the night when the red light blinks since this was the reason her mother died; she ran a red light and it ended right there. I found it beautiful and morbid. I was convinced that she’s gonna be a favorite of mine because she was damaged and I like lead girls like her who are so complex. Peyton’s style is considered modern gothic and she considers herself a loner, but at the end of the day, she is still a cheerleader for the Tree Hill Raven’s. Even though she is my favorite, I don’t like how she conforms to the other popular girls to be with her best friend Brooke. Another example of a character who conforms would be Lucas. At the beginning of the series, no one really knew who he was except that he was the half-brother of Nathan Scott. Now that he is on the basketball team with all of the other popular athletes, he is now getting more attention from people. He is getting more “hellos” from girls in the hallways, and more high fives from guys when he walks by. Later on in the season, Haley is needed as a fill-in cheerleader for a competition. After being a cheerleader for a night, people are noticing her more and a guy she has never talked to before smiled and waved at her. What message is this sending viewers?  That guys can only be noticed if they join the basketball team? Or girls can only be considered “hott” if they are a cheerleader? Are cheerleaders the only girls who can get basketball/jock boyfriends? This is the wrong message to be sender younger viewers. The should be seeing messages that involve success with being an individual and not following the crowd. They should know that to be excepted into society does not mean they have to be apart of the popular crowd.

This link shows people how to “fit in with the popular crowd.” I think this is ridiculous. Why should someone try to be something they are not? Overall I think that One Tree Hill sends good messages, but when it comes to this one issue, I think that they could have handled it better. They should be sending the message that it is okay to be yourself and you can be popular and have friends by doing so. Even as society progresses, I think that there will always be the stereotypes of the “popular jock” and the “hott cheerleader” no matter how we try to get rid of them.

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3 Responses to Thematic Implications: Popularity Contest?

  1. Tory Lowe says:

    Hey Melinda,

    I just had to say I’ve been enjoying your blog posts! They’re quite fun to read, lively and thoughtful – great work so far. I’m looking forward to reading more!

    ~Tory Lowe

  2. Hey Melinda!
    Your posts have been really interesting and fun to read! I especially liked this! I’ve only watch OTH a few time, but I have totally noticed this idea! Keep up the good work!
    Good luck with the rest of your posts!

  3. kellerjs says:

    I had also heard of One Tree Hill but I never really understood the craze behind it. After reading your blog I finally understand where all the craze behind the series came from. I commend you on your strong opinions about the wrong messages that One Tree Hill could be sending out to younger viewers. Sometimes it can be hard to address things that your favorite tv show is doing wrong but you tackled them head on. Good job.

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