Stop Turning My High School Uniform Into Your Slutty Halloween Costume

Stop Turning My High School Uniform Into Your Slutty Halloween Costume

The girls from "Gossip Girl" are the farthest things from reality.

Yes, I went to a private, Catholic, all-girls high school. Yes, I wore a uniform, complete with a white polo and a pleated plaid skirt. And yes, it bothers me when people turn my uniform into a slutty costume for Halloween.

First of all, where did the stereotype that Catholic school girls are inherently slutty even come from?

It disgusts me to no end. The private school girl cliche coined by Gossip Girl does not hold up in the real world, and the way that this idea is portrayed in the media is often sexualized for reasons I cannot understand.

You won't see the girls of my high school dressed to the nines in cleavage-bearing button downs, loose ties, and expensive high heels. Instead, you'll see sweatshirts galore, half-calf socks paired with comfy Ugg moccasins, unbrushed hair, and tired eyes.

Why? Because we value our education over our appearance. That is the typical Catholic school girl.

We dressed for ourselves and our comfort; not for our peers, and especially not for men. There is literally nothing sexy about what I wore to school every day for four years. I focused on my studies and so did everyone around me.

And it's all undone on one holiday in October when people everywhere decide to mock us by rolling plaid skirts, tying up button-downs, and portraying a false representation of who we really are.

I'm don't think I would mind as much if the word "Catholic" was not attached to this, because it feels like a mockery of my religious beliefs, as well. And that is definitely not something I will stand for.

I think Halloween is fun, and I love dressing up as much as the next person. But why does it have to involve religion? It's just plain disrespectful.

Pick literally any other costume, please. Seriously, anything.

Like, even Mean-Girls-level slutty. Just not this one.

Maybe it was the Britney Spears "Baby One More Time" music video, or maybe it was just the way that it's always been, but in an era when we are fighting every day for the equality and respect of women, it's hard to be taken seriously if your uniform is now the quintessential "sexy" Halloween costume.

My high school focused on the empowerment of women, with our education being held to a high standard and our religion a core part of our existence. I don't appreciate the mockery of all that we stood for, and the undermining of our values because you think it looks cute this season.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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Valentine's Day Shouldn't Be a Celebration

Reflections on the social obligations of Valentine's Day.

I think that Valentine's Day is a little too much. Don't get me wrong, V-Day is amazing for couples who are in happy and healthy relationships, but it adds an unnecessary pressure to conform to societal standards. This is mostly why I decided to wear a headband with the words "Girls Rule" on the top, in which people thought was a tiara. I mostly decided to hang out with gal friends and had an amazing day nonetheless. Valentine's day is a pretty dreaded day for people who aren't creative with it, and although it can be a great way of spreading love awareness, what I want to touch base with is this: why it has become so sensationalized today.

Some people really hate Valentines day--maybe because they have had bad relationships, horrible memories, are perpetually single, or even, because they feel an obligation or pressure to conform to the societal construct of the day.

The history of this loving day starts with the legend of St. Valentine. "Valentine’s Day, in fact, originated as a liturgical feast to celebrate the decapitation of a third-century Christian martyr," as stated from the Smithsonian. During his time period, marriage was arranged, not out of love. The priest (and many others after him) married couples who were in love in secret through the church. St. Valentine and his reputation since then has always been of spreading love through faith.

In modern day, this sense of traditional love is lost. Just like any other holiday in the U.S., the advertisements for Valentine's Day start staggeringly early. You roam the halls of the drug store in mid-January and find aisles loaded with flower bouquets and chocolate boxes. No matter how early or late it is, this is a visual reminder of the day, or your perpetual singleness, or anything you affiliate with it, no matter how hard you try and tell yourself that it isn't. Even if you are in a relationship, it puts an unwanted weight on your shoulders, and you think: What should I get for my partner? Will the gift be too much or too little?

Let's compare Valentines Day to other celebrations, such as Christmas, or Birthdays. Obviously, these are all substantially different in many ways, but one thing persists: presents. Gifts have been the main way of displaying affection. Our ways of gift-giving has been sensationalized by the media, and constant stimulation of gift-giving in the media.

Of course, it is nice to be given a gift, but there are other ways of displaying affection as opposed to gift-giving, which I think is not emphasized enough in our culture. For example, taking someone to do an activity instead of giving them a materialistic gift. Giving someone you care about the gift of an amazing memory with you. Or, displaying our feelings for each other in our daily lives in the little smiles and jokes with them.

If everyone expresses love and appreciation for people they care about in their lives every day, Valentine's day will no longer be the only day you express love, but an added bonus.

For me, I expressed my thorough love for chocolate and gal pals, and couldn't be happier.

Cover Image Credit: Original Photo

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Why I Am Taking Lent Seriously This Year

I epically failed last year, but this year I will do better.

So February is here before I even knew it, which means my favorite month of the year is here! As many of you know, Valentine's Day is February 14th but so is Ash Wednesday, marking the start of Lent. Last year, I was less than careful when it came to Lent and ended up giving up halfway through. I started Lent on a bad note last year when I decided that I was too busy to go to church for Ash Wednesday. The streak continued as I was terrible at not eating meat and fasting on Fridays and gave up quickly on my decision to give up soda. This year I'm deciding to do better; I need to do better this year. So this is how I'm going to take Lent seriously this year.

Lent was always a time that I dreaded as a kid. I hated the idea of having to give something that I enjoyed up, but now that I've gotten older I recognize the importance of Lent. I went to Catholic school for 12 years, and they ingrained into us the fact that Lent is supposed to mirror Jesus' sacrifice spending 40 days in the desert, but I honestly think that it is more than that. I definitely think that last year being my first year being away from the hold of Catholic school, I rebelled a little bit with my new found freedom of not being forced to participate in Lent. I didn't handle it in the right way, and so this year, I am seeing Lent as an opportunity for growth and to challenge my self-control a little. I am thinking about challenging myself and going vegetarian for Lent to try to better my health as well as trying to do more acts of service and to build upon my New Year's Resolution of positivity.

So this year I am definitely going to take Lent seriously to further and strengthen my faith. I know that I will probably stumble and make mistakes throughout, but I am confident that it will be a beneficial experience.

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