The Glow-Ups of Mariemont Seniors

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Going into high school can be a nerve-wracking experience for all of us, especially because there is the pressure to look and act a certain way in order to fit in. Perfection is impossible to achieve, yet many people in high school try to be perfect by pretending to be someone they’re not.

MHS seniors have experienced the journey of self-acceptance and have changed dramatically, in more ways than their appearance. Reflecting back on their four years of high school, some of the seniors gave insight on how they were able to overcome the unrealistic expectations of high school.


Madeline Hook said she didn’t change much physically during her high school career, but her self image and confidence improved greatly. “I had a baby face that I eventually grew out of, but I never had braces like most people did. I didn’t have the typical transformation that people have in high school, but I still used to let the opinions of others change the way I saw myself. As I got older I realized looks aren’t as important as you think they are in junior high. If you like the way you look then go with it,” said Hook.

Hook offers others this word of advice: “Try not to care what others think because in the end, it’s just you. Easier said than done, but it will make you happier if you try.”


Max Hobart says he had a drastic physical transformation, but it didn’t affect the way he thought of himself. “Freshman year I looked like a baby and I had braces, but I didn’t really care because appearances don’t matter much to me,” said Hobart.

“Although I’m glad I don’t still look like I used to, I’ve learned that you can’t please everyone, so why not just please yourself.”

He hopes that anyone having trouble accepting themselves will “just live their lives and ‘YOLO’ it.”


Along with Hobart, Kristen Crabtree says she had an extreme physical transformation that expanded her comfort zone and made her a happier person. “I was super awkward throughout junior high. I got my braces off in the beginning of freshman year, but my full transformation happened the summer going into my junior year,” Crabtree said.

Crabtree adds, “I definitely became a more confident person once I changed, but I’ve realized that the most important thing about high school is being yourself. All of these people won’t matter in four years.”


After years of being skinny and awkward, Kyle Mason says he slowly became more confident and muscular as he progressed through high school. “I started lifting a lot my junior year and I gained a lot of muscle. I went from being super little to pretty big which made me more confident in myself and my appearance,” Mason said.

Mason believes appearance is important and always makes sure to keep up with his own. “It’s crucial to maintain your appearance health wise, like eating healthy, being hygienic, and staying in shape, but if there is something you don’t like about yourself that can’t be changed, you have to learn to accept it.”


“I was super awkward freshman year; I had the braces and the baby face and I was afraid to talk to people I didn’t know, but once I got them off, I became more confident in myself and wasn’t afraid to meet new people,” said Chloe Reavill.

Reavill says she was subject to the pressure of being perfect, but in time she was able to understand that appearance didn’t matter as much as she thought it did. “It’s more about how you carry yourself and the way you treat others.”

“Do what makes you happy, not what makes others happy,” is advice Reavill would give to freshman or anyone struggling with self confidence.


Cameron Hollander’s transformation occurred sophomore year when he got his braces off. Hollander says it made him more comfortable with himself, but he stresses the importance of staying true to himself. “As long as you are comfortable with who you are, the opinions of others shouldn’t matter to you, and you should do whatever makes you happy. Don’t try to be something you’re not; you will never be satisfied,” said Hollander.


“Changing my hair and getting my braces off made me satisfied with the way I looked,” said Lauren Kaminer.

Kaminer endured this change her freshman year of high school, and says it helped her to be more confident in herself. She battled with self-image issues, and would like anyone who is currently dealing with them to know, “Appearance doesn’t matter and it only gets you so far. Be true to yourself on the inside because that’s all that really matters,” said Kaminer.


“I think my transformation happened when I decided to stop dressing like a third grader,” said Gracie Teghtmeyer. “Getting braces off also helped, but once I started caring about the way I presented myself and worrying about what others thought of me is when I changed.”

Teghtmeyer admits that as an underclassmen she tended to hide in the shadows because she was uncomfortable with herself and wanted to stay out of people’s way. “Over the years I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter what other people think about you. Your opinion of yourself is all that matters because at the end of the day, you are the one who will make yourself happy and if you like who you are then good for you,” said Teghtmeyer.

Teghtmeyer adds, “Trying to please everyone will drive you crazy. Try to stop caring. If you want to wear a shirt but you think other people might make fun of you, wear it. What you want is all that matters.”