What is the irony in Mica High School students expressing themselves in Stargirl?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The irony is that it is a place that has valued conformity for so long. As we read this book, we realise that Mica High School, perhaps more than other environments, is a place where standing out is definitely not the thing to do if you want to gain social popularity. The opening of the story focuses on the way in which the students wear the same clothes, listen to the same music, talk about the same things and eat the same food.

This is something that is highlighted by the arrival of Stargirl and her freedom of self-expression, which initially makes her the focus of massive attention. Even though she does gain popularity after a while, this quickly fades away and this shows the danger of sticking your head out and being different. Eventually, Stargirl transforms herself into a conformist in order to try and be accepted, but she finds that whilst she may be accepted by others, she can never accept herself if she suppresses who she is. The irony is that being different is something that characters such as Leo in the novel do not have enough courage to do. They stick to what they know and conformity, and therefore lose part of themselves. Even when other students try to be different this is only very short lived.