We all had dreams when we were children. Get a cute boyfriend, go to Harvard, drive a bright red car, somehow have a billion friends and be happy. That’s what 2007 Disney Channel told me what was cool. I’m now at that age where Disney told me I should be and I have none of those things. It’s eye opening to realize how much Disney lied to me. Sure, I don’t have a boyfriend, but I have like ten girl crushes that keep me going. Sure, I am definitely not going to Harvard even if I got in, but I got a good list of schools that could keep me going. Sure, I’m not the owner of a bright red car and I am definitely not the most popular person in school, but it doesn’t stop me from being the theatre geek I am. Sure, I am not happy 100% of the time, but who is? Recently, I rewatched Heathers, a movie I grew up on, and a musical I love. There’s a collection of amazing quotes that strike everyone differently, but when Veronica Sawyer helps comfort someone out of suicide she says, “If you were happy every day of your life you wouldn’t be a human being. You’d be a game show host.”
Pop culture defines our views of us. Who we are, what we do, and is it okay to be us? The answers always comes in waves of viewing pop culture. For me, growing up with mental illness at a pretty young age, I was like the outsider, never relating to anyone on TV who got sad for an episode, then sang at the end. I would read books to try and relate, but no luck there. Later on, when I turned fifteen, I finally found the world of theatre and a world of people actually feeling things on stage leading to equality on the stage, but growing up, I would never have that. Our pop culture wants to define us, but we should define us. Who we are and what we do may have pop culture in the background, but it is what we do in the foreground that will define us.