As seventh graders, we seniors coveted Orlando Bloom – partly because Ms. Llano wanted to marry him, and partly because of our Pirates of the Caribbean obsession. Anyone who was anyone possessed a bedazzled Sidekick, a la Paris Hilton circa 2004. Juicy Couture track pants were all the rage, and students’ binder covers were accessorized with posters of Ryan from the OC.
Times have changed with the newest preteens on the middle school scene. You can spot them prancing down the hallways, showing off their Blair Waldorf-esque headbands and ties. Their skirts are accessorized with metallic belts, while Uggs in Skittle colors are nowhere to be seen. And instead of LiveStrong bracelets of Baby-G watches, their wrists are adorned with piles of fashionable bracelets.
To truly understand the culture of these new middle schoolers, we prowled the locker halls to figure out just what are the biggest trends for seventh and eighth graders. For the uniform, these younger students are obsessed with high-waisted skirts clenched by a fashionable belt, headbands with huge bows (“the bigger the better”), cashmere sweaters, vintage jewelry, and thick rubber bracelets advertising concerts they’ve attended.
And these girls pack in attitude with their new attire.
“We know the upper school makes fun of us,” one seventh grader commented about her high-waisted skirt. “But we don’t care.”
While the Grove used to be the happening spot for nights out, now middle schoolers say it’s all about Harvard Westlake middle school football games. Like the entire country, Twilight is all the rage. And the TV shows that are a must-see? Glee and Gossip Girl, they report, which seem much more R-rated than Gilmore Girls and The OC. And although these younger students tote around iPhones and Blackberrys (instead of hot pink Razrs), some things in middle school never change – like the obsession with cafeteria food. Huge chocolate-chip cookies right out of the oven have been replaced by microwave chocolate croissants, yet popcorn is still a caf favorite.
These changes aren’t just reflected on our school campus. “Golden Couple” Brad and Jen have been replaced with Brangelina and orphanage, and Lizzie McGuire’s squeaky-clean image has been transformed into Miley Cyrus’ pole dancing antics at the Teen Choice Awards.
With every new batch of students, on thing stays the same: pop-culture isn’t just something we observe – it becomes a part of what we wear, how we act, and who we idealize, and it also seems to get a little racier every year. If we just went from good girl Lizzie McGuire to scandalous Miley Cyrus, what is the class of 2020 going to look like?
– Written by Brooke, Cassidy, and Sophie