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Seeing beyond the girls who always seem to receive attention 24/7 for being pretty and liked by the boys isn't always easy. I wasn't a popular girl in school, in fact I spent a fair amount of time observing the "popular" girls and couldn't help but realize there were two different categories when defining popularity. There were the girls who lost their self-worth, morals and values and made risky choices because they placed great focus on being liked by boys and looking perfect. Then there were the girls who were really kind and smart and genuine. The latter group wasn't talked about so much, but that was the group I chose to associate myself with.

I'm glad I did because today I am still drawn to the same type of girls. They are driven, smart, loyal and most of all, this type of girl empowers another girl, making us stronger and united. I vividly remember being in middle school and high school. Your world is made up of schoolwork, teachers, family, hobbies and the dreaded daily drama and judgement girls place on each other. It is also world of good friends, a curiosity for learning and great teachers who become mentors. Spend your time spreading kindness and making good grades.

Stay connected with your family and make only those who hold the same values as you a priority. It's not easy navigating the idea of wanting to be popular. As you scroll through Instagram and Facebook, remember that those girls you are striving to emulate are only showing you their "highlight reel". You have the power to change what being popular means. Empower each other instead of tearing each other down. I feel like my friends and I were very popular...after all it's a matter of opinion right? XOXO Lauren

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