Acceptable reason for being popular: awesome Halloween costumes.

Like everyone else, I hate people that are popular.

Growing up, most of the popular kids I knew were kind of jerks. They were uniformly white, and privileged, and blond(e) and terrible. They seemed to emerge fully formed out of descriptions of ideal Aryan youth from textbooks, or preteen novels about bullying. They were terrible in might and social prowess, ruthless and adept at gathering and leading the populace–gangs of miniature Musolinis; Stalins with cowlicks and sibilant /s/ sounds. They generally made going to school unpleasant for all of the social misfits, the grossly unpopular, and anyone else in the masses (yours truly). Our schoolyard was their fiefdom, and all other children their loyal serfs; moreover, the royal crown was handed down through the generations nepotistically, some grade fives graduating and bestowing the mantle of cruelest, prettiest, and most deranged to their horrible siblings or young tagalongs. It was a brutal, medieval kind of landscape, where our hardened spirits were forged through suffering, name-calling, and weak punches to the face or belly. It was elementary school.

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