Backpacks: A revealing accessory: Students find alternatives to the traditional backpackTuesday, January 08, 2008 By Kyra Jordan
It’s not what’s on the inside that counts anymore—not with backpacks anyway! A backpack is, in its simplest form, a cloth sack carried on one’s back and secured with two straps that go over the shoulders, though nowadays, a backpack is a student’s way to express themselves. The backpack is one of the most important accessories used in high school fashion by Franklin students. You can tell a lot about a student’s personality or habits just by looking at their backpack. “Stereotypes sometimes happen by looking at a person’s backpack,” said junior bag carrier Marjon Popal, “Sometimes you tend to think a person with a bright colored backpack is happy-go-lucky, opposed to a person with a dark color.” The backpack can say a lot about the carrier. The type of backpack carried, as well as size and color, can give many impressions of the student. The backpack is an all around easy way to stereotype. “I try not to stereotype people with big backpacks, but when I see a person with a big backpack I either think they’re in the seventh or eight grade—or a freshman—or really smart or disorganized,” said junior and bag carrier, Mahogany Graves. A flat looking, empty backpack may say this student either has really easygoing teachers, or slacks off in school. A huge, bulky backpack could say this person really takes school seriously—or is seriously disorganized. “When I see people with huge backpacks I would assume they’re freshmen,” said junior and cartoon backpack carrier Alyssa Deguzman. “They look so goofy carrying that big bag on their back all hunched over.” “People with bulky backpacks take school seriously,” said junior and cartoon backpack owner, Sariya Patton. “They bring all their books and do all their homework.” Along with stereotyping and expression, backpacks seem to not only support your books these days but increase or decrease your outer attraction. And it appears that not only do giant backpacks risk your chances of scoliosis and a hunched back, but your personal relationships. “A girlfriend having a giant backpack would affect a new relationship by hurting the attraction,” said junior and Jansport owner Joseph Rosas. “In most cases, people who wear big backpacks lack a sense of fashion that attracts others.” “If you have a boyfriend, how are they going to hug you when you’re falling backwards from the heavy backpack that’s attached to your spleen?” said Graves. For students who don’t desire to be mistaken for Quasimodo, but have a lot of material to lug, they turn to the alternative: backpacks on wheels. Rolling backpacks: probably the most hated form of backpack in history. Back in the ‘90s (elementary school) everyone had them and they were very popular. Nowadays, feelings have changed, leaving more and more students saying leave the luggage at home. “I hate rolling backpacks. It’s irritating—they take up the sidewalk!” said junior bag carrier Rachel Osbourne-Brown,. “Although, it’s good for avoiding back problems.” “(Ugh)…rolling backpacks are annoying,” said junior and bag carrier Julianna Villegas. “They roll over your feet…whose idea was it to put wheels on a backpack anyway?” Elementary school kids are not the only ones sportin’ the Spider Man or Dora the Explorer cartoon backpacks now. These kiddy/cartoon backpacks are being seen regularly on the backs of high school students too. The cartoon backpacks have definitely made a return since grade school. These backpacks, which after fourth grade became uncool, to various Franklin students are now considered cool. “I have a cartoon backpack, they’re fun. Cartoon backpacks are a recycled trend,” said Patton. “The influence from music is a big reason why a lot of people have them.” The trend considered cool by owners is declared immature by others. “Cartoon backpacks are a joke. What are we in preschool still?” said Graves, “We are in high school! For me personally, I prefer something more mature.” These days, Franklin students have found other ways to carry their books around. The alternative for having a backpack is becoming very popular. Students are finding many different ways to carry their books without using the classic two strap backpack. “I don’t carry a backpack because they’re tacky. God forbid, I have a rolling backpack,” said Graves, “It’s just that we’re in high school and backpacks are left for kids in grade school—and freshmen. Bags are cute. I like my bag very much, it makes me look mature and very attractive—like I’m going places in life.” For the ladies, book bags have become very popular. The book bag (or oversized purse) can give a girl certain sophisticated look. Instead of taking away attention (like those distracting, body-engulfing backpacks) a bag keeps all the focus on the person. And they’re not just for girls. Guys, if a purse is not your preferred style try investing in a messenger bag. “A bag is easier than a backpack. I like bags because it’s easier for carrying and getting around, and it’s cute!” said Osbourne-Brown, “Bags are more popular than backpacks, fashion wise. The main purpose is fashion. Backpacks are a fashion statement.” The drawstring backpack is commonly used by the athletes. The drawstring backpack does give a person a certain athletic façade, though the small pouch could also give off a slacker attitude towards school, if that’s all you’re carrying. “I carry around a drawstring backpack because they’re light and good looking,” said sophomore Jonathan Barros. The backpack says a lot about the person. From their personal style to their motivation in school—even their love life. Backpacks are more than sacks carried on the back. They can also be the cause of physical deformity and hatred from stereotypes. The solution to the hatred is simple: the school administration can stop the stereotype in backpacks by giving the students lockers.