Article by Marzia Sterling
Recently something rather, shall we say disturbing has been submitted to the Owl Post. A particular list that, in a nutshell, pits specific students against each other in a battle of appearance, personality, and “desirability.” And it angers me more than anything to know that my name was put on that list. I’m sure many of you know of what list I’m speaking of, and if you don’t, count yourself lucky. I sincerely hope it’s author is presently reading this.
Truthfully, when that list was first submitted, my immediate reaction was to ask my name be erased from it completely. I wanted absolutely no part in the game that it’s author was trying to play. And while the list could have potentially been written with pure intentions, it’s hard to ignore how blatantly disgusting and disrespectful it is.
We had eventually decided not to post this list. Ultimately, the ratio of potential harm to potential good was 9 to 1. The list would make those not on it, feel excluded. It would make them feel unwanted. It would be a metaphorical kick to the gut of a pubescent teenager already struggling with their self esteem.
However, not only should the impact of those ostracised from the list be considered. The impact that it would have to the few selected, out of the hundreds of students in our wonderful school, would be incredibly damaging. People would accuse them of favourability. Those on the list would likely be approached to be asked if they wrote it themselves. Every single one of those students, specially picked for how “desirable” they are, would be cast in a light with a tone of anything but positivity. Targeted.
As someone on the list, I think I speak for all of us when I say, dear author, we are not prize hogs at a muggle country faire. We are not objects to be compared to one another, pitted against each other like some sort of demented, “Which of you is the best at existing?” We are not objects. Surprise, surprise, we are people, who have lives and feelings. WE ARE MORE THAN JUST HOW “DESIRABLE” YOU VIEW US.
Not only did you decide you would write out just how subjectively attractive YOU found your fellow students, you decided your work was worthy to be viewed by the eyes of the entire student body. It’s disgraceful, that as a fellow student who is likely going through the same trials and tribulations all of us are, you had absolutely not a single thought in your mind to how the feelings of others should be considered. And to those of you who might’ve caught wind of this list, and passed it around like it was some funny game, shame on you. Not a thought of anyone else must’ve entered your mind, the only thought being how amusing you found it.
To those of you who might’ve felt badly about yourselves for not being considered, or those of you who know you were on that list, you have my sincerest empathy. On behalf of the author, I apologise that anyone ever found about about that dreaded list in the first place. I’m completely disappointed.
Your’s truly, Prize Hog #7