I just read a blog post regarding cliques, classes and the post weight loss surgery as a bizarre extension of high school. (You need read that first, or this won't make much sense.)
I have said it for years — as morbidly obese individuals — we can be stunted, socially — often at the age we became obese. Whatever the cause of the obesity — things get STUCK. Some morbidly obese persons go through teenage-hood missing out on a lot of the social norms and live out these opportunities as an adult, after weight loss surgery. They lose the weight, and come out of their shells, literally. It can be an amazing time for some people! HELLO PUBERTY FOR THE SECOND TIME!
The blogger says,
"Thus, when people lose a lot of weight, they often go back and try to relive their high school experiences – and that means forming exclusive/non-inclusive cliques, gossiping, causing drama, putting others down, being promiscuous, dressing provocatively, being stuck-up, getting drunk, taking risks, or just being a rebel."
So we sort of agree. I suppose a few of those shoes fit. I'm a motherfucking rebel, yo. Look at me, avoiding my laundry pile. Rawr.
Though I did not experience the whole LIVE LIFE ALL OVER AGAIN myself, it's because I did not spend a long time at my largest size, and I do not feel that I was slighted any of my childhood or teenager hood and I have nothing to prove. I am simply pleased to be at a normal size, and I am the same exact person I was prior to losing weight.
I also don't feel compelled to GO TO MY PROM AND GET A BOYFRIEND OMGZ! I did all that. I did not miss out. I do not see the draw of doing it all again. I don't care if you missed out the first time, get over it and grow up.
I was not in any cliques in high school nor now. I was an anti-clique type of person, and I am still firmly planted there.
What is a clique –
A powerful, yet unstable social hierarchy structures interactions between Group Members in any given clique, always topped by the highest-status member, labeled by psychologists as the “Leader” or “Queen Bee.” In her now famous ethnography of adolescent cliques, ‘’Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends & Other Realities of Adolescence,’’ author Rosalind Wiseman explains the standard set of roles most frequently adopted by male and female clique members.
- Queen Bee – Leader: rules by “charisma, force, money, looks, will, & manipulation”
- Sidekick – Lieutenant: invariably supports the Queen Bee’s opinions
- Banker – Gossip: collects and employs information for her own gain
- Floater – Similar to a Liaison; closely associated with multiple cliques
- Pleaser – Can be in or out of clique: immediately adopts all of the Queen Bee and Sidekick’s opinions, yet never gains their approval
- Target – Outside of the clique; regularly excluded and humiliated
- Leader – Like the Queen Bee except well-respected: Athletic, tough, rich, & gets the girls.
- Flunkie – Like the Pleaser, he does anything asked of him, but he also responds to any member. Inadvertently annoys others with his actions regularly.
- Thug – Although often smarter than he lets on, the Thug communicates primarily through nonverbal bullying. He typically appears popular, but may not actually be well-liked or respected.
- The Get Wits – Groupies of male clique: respected by adults as high-achieving “good kids,” but only unsought tagalongs to the clique.
I am a love-all, seek-all, exclude no one type of person. I still am.
My high-school friends were often on the fringes, sometimes they were oddball types and often very, very smart individuals. My friends were typically quite opposite of me – MENSA IQ type people with extraordinary brain skills and socially awkward, quiet and otherwise unlike me. To this day, I seem to attract these types of people. Some of the best friends I've had have been my opposites.
In high school, my friends came to me because they saw something in me that brought out the better parts of them. I was outwardly expressive and made them lighten up. I was funny, and fun to be with. I would like to think I am still the same. I would also hope they saw empathy and understanding.
In regards to the above blog post, if I take it literally (which I know isn't the way it was meant…) I *was a marching band geek, I was in Marketing/DECA (You are looking at the National Retail Management Delegate for 1994 and 1995 right. here, baby..) I was in Student Council, as a Marketing Delegate, wanted desperately to do Yearbook Work, etc. etc… and… I … uh… hated the cheerleaders and jocks.
I… uh… still sort of do. Sorry. I loathe the cheerleader mentality.
Hey, give me a break here – many of them bitches were MEAN GIRLS.
Have you ever had spitballs thrown in your hair or pennies tossed at you just because of Who You Were? Well, it sucks. It hurts. And WHY on earth would we want to GO BACK THERE?
*think about it*
We'd never throw anything BACK, but hell if we didn't WANT TO.
I may have gotten a kid or two suspended for saying nasty things to me and I fought back once or twice. I admit my fails and I still fail all the time.
And, you know what?
I REFUSE TO RETURN TO THAT KIND OF THINKING OR BEHAVIOR.
We are adults, at least the last time I checked I was — as my 14 year old reminds me daily that I Am. (Ask HER about Mean Girls. You have no idea how much better "we" had it, ladies. WE DIDN'T HAVE FACEBOOK! We had PAGERS. We passed PAPER. NOTES. Drama traveled sloooowly!) I LOATHE TEENAGE GIRL BEHAVIOR AND WANT NOTHING OF IT. Sorry, dear 14 year old daughter, but you are not the typical teenager, and I thank my lucky stars. (Seriously, go ask YOUR 13-16 year old daughter about girl-drama. Go. Ask her to log in to her Facebook and look at her friend-feed. It is DISGUSTING.)
Here I am an old 33 year old broad, a YouTuber, a blogger, a semi-decent "marketer," the founder of a group self-titled "Bariatric Bad Girls," in the very community the blogger above is lining up into classes and cliques and URLS.
I fit into almost every clique – class – category of that blog post.
Why do I feel like I need to classify myself now? I did not know that we had cliques, classes or labels.
I do not fit in any of the categories listed. Square peg here. Round hole. I break holes.
- What about the group of 1060 individuals I chat with every single day, many of who fail to fit in ANY category?
- What about many of those inviduals who have been EXCLUDED from other "social opportunities?"
- Where do they go for, in this case, social support after bariatric surgery?
My particular online group contains such a wide variety of humans, seriously, we are the craziest high-school you've ever seen. We house 1060 bariatric patients, many who have been shunned by the mainstream or "popular" kids, and we are inclusive of any and all types of people in all kinds of situations.
Now, I do not want to assume the following is pointing a finger at my group, but … the shoe…. feels bad… really sick to my gut … bad. I don't know if it has got a thing to do with *us* but there aren't many big groups out there in this community, there are many small groups, countless very small ones, I'm just feeling the… post and it stabs –
Via Gastric Bypass Barbie – Bariatric Afterlife –
"All of the “glorious” parts of high school come roaring back in the Bariatric After Life, and that can be a slap in the face to witness for people just beginning their journeys. When they first set foot in the online WLS community, they can feel judged, put down and excluded…all over again, and when that happens, they sometimes latch onto the first group of people who pay them any kind of attention, regardless of whether it’s a good or healthy fit because (they reason), it’s better to belong to A GROUP, than NO GROUP – no matter how unhealthy that group might be. We’re human and desperately want to be accepted. It’s how we’re made!
Of course this makes me sad, because I want everyone to believe strongly enough in their own value that they make healthy choices in friendships and behaviors. I don’t want people to settle for what they can get. I want them to blaze their own trails and create their own successes.
Unfortunately, peer pressure is alive and well in our community and it is, perhaps, even more potent than it was when we were teens because, NOW, we are all adults…and that means it’s incredibly easy to justify bad behavior in the name of “choice.”"
I just said it in my group — if you FEEL THAT WAY — feel that we are AT ALL a bad fit, a bad influence? You do not belong in the group — NO GROUP should make you feel that way. The door is open, please leave! Man. There's no need to feel bad!
My group — though titled "bad girls" — has ZERO to do with being "bad" at any level. What is a Bariatric "Bad Girl?" (Funny, that… I just started posting videos on this Very Topic.)
Sadly enough, it's about being EXCLUDED, which feels like SHIT. It burns. It's another penny being thrown at the back of my head because We're Not Good Enough.
I'd have posted this to you on your page, butcha unfriended me.
I went to comment via Twitter, but you blocked me.
This is what burns. Stings.
We are all equals in the same community, we aren't the "bad kids" sitting in detention you know. We're often the kids that haven't got a clique to join. We are inclusive.
We are the unpopulars, the super-geeks, the girl who has to take meds, the kid who sneaks butts, the kid from horticulture class who grows weed on the side, the girl who is the prez of a fan club, the kid who has to watch his little siblings because mom is stoned every night, the kid who plays sports because his mom makes him, the freaky arty kid, the sick kid who left school half-way through the year, the kid who has seizures, the one with the crazy hair that you made fun of, the one who goes to church every day, the one with Aspergers Syndrome, the kid who leaves classes to meet with the School Psychologist, the kid who's mom and dad are from Iraq, the girl who goes home to an empty house everyday, the girl who goes to school in homemade clothes, or the one with no new clothes every year, the kid who has no food at home, the girl with the mom who drinks too much, the pregnant girl, the one who had a baby and you didn't know it, the stoner, that girl who only eats white foods, the one who had surgery when she was little and now has problems, the drinker, the one with the parents who beat the shit out of him, the fat girl, the really fat girl, the reformed bully, the bully who doesn't really admit to being in the group, the gay kid that doesn't know it yet, the girl who likes chicks, the one you heard who did that thing, the Jesus freak, the super freaky kid, the emo kid, the anorexic, the bulimic, the cutter, the kid who tried to commit suicide, etc..etc..so forth and so on… you know…
My friends who NEED SUPPORT because we are not mainstream. We are not popular. There may be some here and there who are super fucking popular in their own ways, in their social standings, or careers, but it's got JACK to do with their standing in a medical weight loss community.
Do people in the heart surgery or brain surgery CREATE CLIQUES? Because if so — I'mma start me a group called Epileptic Excellents. Damn.
Haven't many of us spent the last 15-20 years of our lives trying to BREAK OUT of the ridiculous high-school categories? Haven't we been trying to come together as adults and beat a common cause? Doesn't it feel gross to be labeled?
But, I will take your advice, Barbie! "Love yourself enough to hang with the winners and risk being unpopular." I am. Fuck haters. I know I will never be "popular" and that is the risk I take for BEING MYSELF. I'm out.