Lauren Cooper has always been outspoken, but the MTV character isn't always vulnerable. However, during the season finale of "Faking It," the queen bee showed both of these sides during a heartfelt speech in front of the student body -- and frankly, it took our breath away. Not only did she use the honest moment to explain her profound respect for Hester High but, for fans, also outlined reasons why the show is important to us.
What sparked Lauren's dialogue? Due to her dad's looming divorce from Amy's mother, the teen learned that she no longer needed to attend the Austin establishment -- a slight relief considering she had always struggled to embrace Hester's progressive politics. But, following Principal Turner's threat to shut the school down for everyone, Lauren thought about what leaving Hester would really mean for her, and she realized what a sanctuary HH provided for people who were unique.
With that, she hit the school board meeting about Hester's possible termination and sparked a touching conversation about her experiences (albeit in her classically abrasive style).
"When I first came to Hester, I thought, 'What the f**k is wrong with this place?'" she began. "Drama club is cooler than football? The most popular kid in school is an obnoxious gay guy and his best friend is a straight man-whore -- and it's not even a little weird."
And isn't that a version of how we all felt when we first watched the show? "Faking It" and Hester High offer such a refreshing take on high school culture. The school's diversity just makes it so different from anything else we've ever seen on the small screen. While we may have jumped in with two feet, it took conservative Lauren a while to see the benefits of roaming the hallways in this type of environment.
She went on: "Two girls pretended to be lesbians. Why? Because at Hester, being different makes you cool. I had a hard time with that." The show features a lot of well-adjusted LGBTQ+ youth but rather than denying the specific hurdles that they may have to overcome, the series shows how cool it is that they can rise to any challenges they may face. Characters struggle to resolve their identity, face discrimination, confront being outed vs. coming out, and more. It explores those struggles and then "Faking It," unlike so many other shows, celebrates the courage the characters have in overcoming any issue. All of this is on display -- without ever sacrificing laughs.
Then came Lauren's big admission. "The one thing that makes me different is the one thing I've always tried to hide. I'm Intersex. I never said that out loud before I came here." Lauren's story reflects what's also happened in media -- specifically, the non-inclusion of many Intersex characters in programs. She's one of the first on TV, and that has opened necessary and enriching conversations among her loyal fans about the condition.
"Turner wants Hester to be more like other schools and -- I can't believe I'm saying this -- I think other schools should be more like Hester. Because this is a school that accepts you, even if you don't accept yourself," she concluded. And she's right: Acceptance of diversity at Hester has made for more interesting plots and realistic perspectives rather than having every person from the same background.
Lauren's speech was like an exclamation point on the show's run so far. Her realized appreciation for what her character has at Hester High expressed so much of what we, the fans of the show, know we have in "Faking It." Like Karma, Liam and Shane, we applauded and clapped when she was finished making her poignant points.
What do you love about Hester High, and what does having a show like "Faking It" mean to you? Let us know in the comments, and keep watching MTV News for updates about upcoming episodes of the series. Go, Armadillos!