#StudentSpotlight: Sharing What’s Important

Today I’ve got two great groups of storytellers to share with you, and each group has taken on a topic that’s important to them. I’ll let them do the talking…

HS Promposals – Nina & Andy

Prom night is one of those nights that high schoolers cannot wait for and a night that many people never forget. The new fascination attached to prom is called ”promposals,” which basically is equivalent to a proposal, but using cheesy phrases on posters about going to prom. This is a very big, important thing to the people in our generation. We wanted to show and share these “promposals” because they are sometimes cute, sometimes unbearably cheesy, and sometimes, sadly, end without a “yes.” Since we were a boy and a girl working together, we got the amazing idea of sharing both perspectives of these “promposals.” That is what we have done for the past few weeks. It is so fascinating seeing how much work goes behind the promposals from the boys’ perspectives, but it is also nice to see how surprised and awed the girl is by it.

We chose to form of tumblr because tumblr is a good forum for writing stories and sharing pictures. We could have used another medium, such as Instagram, but we agreed that it would take away from the feeling of the actual story. We also feel that people rarely read the long paragraphs under Instagram photos, therefore, tumblr was the best solution. We knew it would be harder to have people find us since not many people use tumblr, but Twitter was the exact way to spread the word of these stories. It actually worked, too! The other day we got a message from a boy named Ivan who wanted his story written by us. Keep in mind that neither of us knew this kid, but we were ecstatic that we did “the thing” that Ms. Krapels wanted us to achieve.

This project was important to us for many reasons; the main reason was that we both had a promposal in our lives and were happy that we were part of the new fad. It is also nice learning everyone else’s stories and seeing how happy they are too. We made the mistake of not promoting earlier, because we could have gotten a lot more people following us if we promoted it more efficiently prior to our installments. Other than that, it has been a good experience to get to know people and see their stories. At the moment, the stories do not have ends since prom season has just begun. We also think that this fad of “promposals” will just get wilder and more extravagant as the years go on.

Perception of Beauty – Alvin, Kristen, Jared & Minji

Hi everyone, our group members are Jared, Alvin, Kristen and Minji.  We are seniors at Cresskill High School.  

We chose beauty as our story topic because we wanted to explore how gender, age, ethnicity, and culture affect views on different standards and perceptions of beauty.  The value that society places on beauty and appearance is increasingly growing both negatively and positively.  Perfect, photoshopped images of celebrities and models have always set unrealistic standards for common people like us.  However, our culture has recently learned to criticize unnatural portrayals and many companies are now reverting back to natural, non-photoshopped pictures of models.  Movements against body shaming have gained mobility and our society attempting to shift its focus to more realistic expectations.  On the other hand, the rates of plastic surgery are growing rapidly in many countries across the world, and even teenagers in middle and high school are participating in these procedures.  It’s evident that society has learned to accept and even encourage these superficial alterations of the body.

We chose to use video as our format simply because beauty is expressed through visuals. Think about it: the first thing you see when you meet a person is their physical appearance, so YouTube was basically a “cake on the sidewalk”. In addition, Jared is a talented editor, and so he can ensure that each episode is of top quality editing and visual effects.

Social media is becoming a “need” more than a “want” in our society, and especially in the lives of individuals of our age. More than ever before throughout history, the world is completely interconnected through the Internet and spreading people’s’ ideas and voices around has become a very simple task, taking only a few seconds to type up and post on a social media site. Of course, social media is categorized under the area of communication, and communication is the tool that is used for one individual to convey thoughts, feelings, ideas, and etc. to another individual. In our project, social media is the form of communication that we use to convey our thoughts about the “Perception of Beauty” in our current society; allowing our voices to be heard and our thoughts recognized by others who may or may not agree with us, sparking controversy further attracting and acknowledging even more people and their thoughts on this topic.

We are all really glad that Mrs. Krapels gave us the opportunity to experience the struggle of trying to “go viral”. All of us underestimated the difficulty of putting ourselves “out there”, and the difficulty of creating good content that is enjoyable to all types of viewers.  Expanding from our little group of 4 people and taking in new perspectives after interviewing our peers really gave us a broader outlook on what people believe to be attractive physical features on males and females.

In our final episode, we will be wrapping up the topics discussed in the previous episodes including peer interviews, insecurities, and plastic surgery.  We’ll be drawing conclusions about what our peers’ opinions of our appearances mean to us.  

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 6.07.07 PM
These Miss Korea candidates represent the negative effects of plastic surgery – every woman looks like the other, and they lose their unique identities.

Aren’t they wonderful? I mean, I am genuinely filled with wonder when I consider the work that these two groups have produced. Nina and Andy “did the thing” (as I recently reported) and I couldn’t be prouder, and the team working on Perception of Beauty is doing work that is good for the world. They’re asking such important questions and putting themselves out there in a way that is incredibly brave. I feel so lucky to be a part of their journey.

They’re modest, but I’m totally willing to brag on their behalf – if you have ten free minutes today, spend them watching this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaGjS6q2w10 – I guarantee you’ll be as impressed as I am.

Our fourth and final installments are due tomorrow, and our final blog posts will be up one week from today! I’m so torn about this – while I’m excited that you’ll finally know all of these storytellers as I do, it will also mean that our project is coming to an end. But for now, we look forward, and…

Until next time,

Mrs. K


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