High school is just a bunch of scared people pretending they’re not.
—Cameron Kweller portrayed by Tanner Buchanan in He’s All That (Netflix, 2021)
While not exact, this quote is incredibly similar in tone to a quote from a columnist in June 1928, which has been oft repeated and slightly modified since including versions by Will Rogers and in Fight Club.
Americanism: Using money you haven’t earned to buy things you don’t need to impress people you don’t like.
—Robert Quillen, The Detroit Free Press, Page 6, Column 4, Detroit, Michigan. June 4, 1928
It’s all about image and being what we’re not.
Apparently the message of the original film She’s All That was completely lost. I’m not sure the current incarnation of this remake will be an inflection point either.
One thought on “We’re Not All That: High School is America in miniature”
I just saw a book recommendation for “The Status Game” by Will Storr. The book description sounds similar to this thought yet suggests both positive and negative outcomes of the behavior. I think I’ll add it to my reading list!