by Risha Sinha and Irene Gonzalez de Las Casas, Opinions writers
photos by Marty Basaria, Niamh O’Rourke and Jane Shen
Public Speaking and Converse-ation
On the first day of school, everyone dressed to impress. We carefully picked out our favorite shirt and those new jeans we just got in anticipation of this day. We topped it all off with some jewelry and our coolest shoes. At least, that’s what I did, because our clothing and shoe choices say so much about us.
But the second I took my first steps through the halls at South, I was shocked to see that my beloved, worn-in vans were insanely outnumbered by … Converse! Red, green, sparkly, flower pattern, army print, tie-dye, cow print — every print you could imagine! And every day since the first, I spot new colors and designs. Just the other day, I saw a pair of rainbow Converse, another red and blue mismatched and one with a face decorating its sides.
Converse are helping people say something to the world without ever opening their mouths, which I think is an incredible thing, considering they are just shoes. Although these eye-catching shoes are designed to stand out in the halls of South, they ironically blend into one sea of ankle-length shoes with an iconic patch right on the ankle.
For that reason, I think that the prominence of Converse at South will fade next year. Like most shoe trends, I don’t think this one will last for more than a year. I will miss Converse when they are not as popular because they were truly one of my favorite (and most expensive!) shoes.
Jean-etics and Jean-eaology
Jeans are the quintessential American pants. Whether you love ‘em or hate ‘em, you most certainly own a pair. If I had a penny for every time I saw a person at South wearing jeans, I would be rich! Each of the many styles I have seen has its unique personality and character.
For example, High-Waisted jeans are the mom of the denim family. She hugs you just right and makes you feel secure and comfortable. She’s the OG, the one that consistently and selflessly serves.
If High-Waisted is the mom, Low-Waisted is her younger sister, the cool aunt from the 2000s. Auntie Low Waisted is always channeling her inner Britney. She is hip, extroverted and lives on the edge. She can dance like the devil and needs no support.
Then comes Wide Leg. She is Mom’s middle child. She is polished, intelligent, career-oriented and unbelievably put-together. Future doctor Wide Leg can often be seen studying with her friends, Trousers and Chinos. Her older sisters, Skinny Jeans and Straight Leg, just went off to college.
Skinny and Straight are athletic, smart, practical and nearly identical twins. While they love a party, they equally enjoy a good night’s sleep. The youngest child is Bootcut, affectionately called Flare. Flare is the life of the party. She is fun, stylish and a little sassy. She is popular and loves bright colors and patterns. She is inspired by her predecessors of the 70s and 90s but isn’t afraid to put her own spin on things. Together, the denim family’s impact at South is profound, for every day, as students get dressed, they choose: who am I going to be today?
The Fine Line Between Aliens and Humans
People who do their own eyeliner regularly are either incredibly skilled or aliens who will take over the world. They must have the steadiest hands. Honestly, they should all become surgeons.
The process of doing eyeliner for me, a regular human, generally goes something like this: (1) Draw a beautiful wing on one side. (2) Try to replicate on the other side. (3) Fail miserably, and aggressively rub it all off. (4) Look like a raccoon. (5) Get frustrated and swear off eyeliner forever.
After completing this 5 step process, I’ll go to school and look at people with perfect eyeliner and get insanely jealous. In the halls of South, I am constantly impressed by people’s innovative makeup looks, with bold graphic eyeliner, colors and glitter. One time, I saw someone wearing an incredible ombre effect that started off as yellow and turned into flames, which made me think of the dumpster fire that is the human race.
Over lockdown, it seems that everyone’s makeup skills increased by ten-fold! Or maybe I just didn’t see practically anyone but my parents and my dog for a year and a half, so anything even a little different seems outrageous and awesome. Despite the eyeliner getting bigger and bolder, I think it will shrink into the background as more and more people start to go with a more ~natural~ makeup look. Either way, the ability to do makeup is a skill I wish I had because I’d like to blend in when all the skillful aliens take over.
Ethics and Hair-ness
I still don’t know what to do to make my hair look good. My current routine is a multi-step process of washing, air-drying, brushing and just hoping for the best. But sometimes, my hair just doesn’t want to work with me. On one of those days, I turn to the love of my life, claw clips, to bail me out.
If you ever see me wearing a claw clip, there is a 90% chance that my hair was not working with me that morning. But even claw clips can’t always calm the temperamental beasts that are my curtain bangs. On some days, my bangs perfectly frame my face, while on others, they end up looking more like shades.
I trace it all back to a fateful Pinterest board showing off how cool and easy curtain bangs are supposed to be! Lies. All lies. Every day, I wake up thinking, please let this be a good day, please let this be a good day, but it almost never is. Yet somehow, so many people at South have the audacity to never seem to have a bad hair day! I’m so, so jealous. Something else I’ve seen people do is bleach or dye their curtain bangs a different color. After Squid Game aired and basically everybody watched it, haircuts like a classic shag or a wolf cut have gained more and more popularity. They are so effortlessly chic, beautiful and, of course, all over South. Every time I see a cool new style, people start doing their own neat twists on this new trend — I swear the students at South are wizards!