The Popular Kid Was Never That Good at Talking to Women

“Have you ever bought something because someone told you that you should?”

Ever bought a book that Oprah recommended?  Went to a restaurant because it had high ratings on Yelp?  Or even bought something from a different less convenient grocery store simply because you found a sales coupon, or a online “groupon” to use?  This method of choosing things, is a lot like how most popular kids in high school ended up dating a lot more than everyone else. Ever since anyone could remember, everyone who knew anyone always wanted to date the popular guy; the jock, the athletically talented, the guy that everyone else knows and bows down to.  It’s been a worldwide phenomenon, especially in America.  America has wrapped it’s television viewers over the wants to date the prom queen, the hopes to date the captain of a rugged sport, or the youngest richest spoiled kid at school.  With titles like High School Musical, She’s All That, Gossip Girl, CW’s new series HellCats, 90210, Glee; it’s always been the cool, in thing to do, to fall mercilessly in love with someone popular.

The truth is, everyone who is popular ends up pathetic.  Not only that; everyone who wants or ends up dating them, are shallow.  Of course, there’s a narrow obvious disclaimer that there are almost some exceptions.  But, for the most part, it’s pretty much true.  Why would you buy a book from Oprah, what gives her the right to blindside you with her recommended merchandise?  Does Oprah know you? Has Oprah built a profile of attributes that she can compile to provide any effective description of you?  What makes Oprah so important that she should be your, your signature, your personal, life adviser?

The problem is not Oprah, Oprah is one person who likes things and tells people about those things.  She’s not the problem.  The problem is in the people who’ve consistently watched the show, they’ve let themselves become mindless drones set on finding direction.  A loss of direction and the tragedy that anyone would follow the very first person who can give them that direction, is none other than the equation for someone who is shallow.  Oprah is the prom queen.  She’s the mother bee.  And today, the modern day adult who buys her merchandise simply because it has an Oprah sticker on it, are the exact replica of the millions of kids who’ve long awaited and dreamed of the almost impossible day that they would hold hands with the quarterback of the football team.

Shallow people are worthless. Their plagiarized opinions, which ideally have originated down from the appealing thoughts of others, have practically nothing unique to say.  They’re a plague, an actual defined zombie experience.  And popular kids, unfortunately they’re no better.  If you’ve seen the television shows, the movies, the media, you’ll understand that these popular kids have to follow a certain way of life simply to appease everyone’s image of them and sustain their popularity.  No matter how much a popular kid loves modern contemporary dance, he or she can’t try it.  They can’t attempt it.  It’s too weird. You’ll see this a lot in Glee, jock wants everyone to think glee club is cool, it’s obviously not, so he ends up getting flack for it.  In this way, shallow people control the popular kids at school.  If for some reason the shallow kids lose interest, the popular kids fall off the map.

So who comes out on top?  The more important question, after high school: who ends up being the most socially effective person?  We’ve concluded that it wasn’t the many shallow people who’ve spent most of their teenage years worshiping a false idol.  And in some way, we can come to our own, personal, unique, and inventive, conclusions as to what happened to most popular kids from high school, who didn’t have football scholarships or something of the same significance.  Who then?  If both these parties have been lost in defeat, what person coming out of high school would be the most socially acceptable after graduation?  There are nerds that learn to become socially acceptable, it’s true.  There are goths that become socially acceptable, and there are people from less popular sports that become socially acceptable.  However, there is one candidate, who logically speaking, would tower over all others when it comes to social ability after high school.

Competition of Egos

Have you ever wonder why none of the big countries go to war with India?  I’m not talking about Imperialism; I’m talking about actual declarations of war.  (Don’t worry; this will tie in to the idea of popular kids and social hierarchy)  In World War 2, why did Germany go to war with most of Europe?  More interestingly, why did Germany ally themselves with Japan, one of the more technologically advanced countries in the universe?  Why didn’t Germany just take over small little countries, why was it bigger countries like France and the UK?  Political science teaches this as the competition of egos.  Germany, Adolf Hitler, they went to war with countries with advanced technology, strong military, supplies, etc.  What would Germany have accomplished going to war with India?  What’s in India?  There’s no military in India, their technology isn’t as advanced, and they don’t have very much to see in supplies.  There wouldn’t be a lot to profit by going to war with a country that doesn’t have these things.

It’s the same with the social structure of popularity.  You don’t see the popular football athletes going to war with the stoners.  Why bother? You don’t see the cheerleaders giving a slight glance at the nerds in the computer lab.  Even the slightly social student body, nobody really cares about them socially.  They do their job, nobody bothers them.  So who would the popular group of kids have to go to war with?  Who clashes with them?  Who irritates them?  Who is so powerful, that that person can steal the thoughts away from popular kids and make a dent in their social beings?  There has to be someone that has those properties.  More importantly, if this person can rise above the popular kids, separate themselves from the shallow kids, and in some way have the same social rapport as popular kids, logically, this person, would make it out of high school as the social pinnacle of an adult social hierarchy.  Who then, has the best chance of that?

. . . enter the anti-hero.


To be continued. . .

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20 responses to “The Popular Kid Was Never That Good at Talking to Women

  1. Hmmm… I don’t think you should include Gossip Girl as one of your examples because 1) the characters are not in school and 2) it’s much less about popularity and much more about the balance of power in the lives of Manhattan’s rich and socially elite. I’d even go so far as to say that most of the characters are distinctly unpopular, but people fear or respect them enough for that not to be an issue.

    The rest, though, are decent examples of vapid shows or films centering around adolescents and their popularity.

    • I don’t watch Gossip girl, so I am just going by what you said here; but isn’t the balance of power (popularity) in a high school just a mini version of the balance of power in the socially elite? And, isn’t popularity for teens based on fear/respect? I don’t think a jock gets popular by not being scary… they exude some sort of physical aura making the weaker, physically inept people respect them out of fear.

      • Yes, there is a physical aura that intimidates the weak, puny, and vision impaired. I find that it’s not always about being physically elite, most of the time it’s about being brand elite, as in “shops at the right places.” A lot of popularity focuses on Aber Crombie, Nike kicks, and stupid dillusional crap like that.

        Keyword: shallow.

    • Isn’t Blair Waldorf gaining the power over her minions and spreading gossip over conquering Chuck Bass about popularity? How about Jenny’s hopeful ascent up those stairs, in which she’s supposedly designated a seat on top? I understand there’s a lot of depth to these characters, which television has to offer, but if they were just rich and popular, then the thousands of acquaintances that they make, a good portion of people only fall madly in love with them simply for a reputation.

      Reputation’s a big thing with Gossip Girl.

  2. I think one point that has gone overlooked here is that the people who are at the top get so accustomed to people just handing things to them as teenagers – time, attention, sometimes money – that when they have to actually work for something as an adult – like chatting up women, to refer back to your title – they are inept.

    These people are so used to being fawned over by everyone that they feel entitled to the attention, to the point where they fail to take into account that once we reach adulthood, real people need to be approached and engaged in some way before handing over their valuable time.

    Some people figure it out and learn to converse properly, but others don’t and will continue to act like entitled jerks, so their social capital permanently dips.

    • My post, well this first part, is about how popular people are “not” socially elite after high school, and how it’s very unlikely that they’ll be. However, if they stay within certain social circles they’ll have an okay time. The thing is, they need recommendations. To expand, for example: If a popular guy goes to a bar or social scenario on his own, by himself, he’ll have a hard time approaching women.

      Not only that, but meeting new people has a lot to do with comfort, captivating ridiculousness, and fun. A lot of popular kids can’t wrap their heads around that because they’ve been so socially assimilated to be cool and tough.

  3. Very thought provoking post, and I’m interested to see where it goes in part 2!

    I think the study of social structure fascinating, especially when it comes to mass behaviour. You raised a few really interesting points on herding to what’s cool “because everyone else is doing it” and you’re right – I think this behaviour does start in school years. So who will come out on top? The person who sheds the need to feel popular, stays true to themself, and focuses on being a good person who makes a positive impact in the lives of those around him. So many people allow their lives to be controlled by “how other people will see me”. If I read this book, I’ll look cool. If I date this supermodel, I’ll be envied. If I go to this concert, people will think I have great taste in music. If I have the latest i-gadget, my social status will climb. So very me-focused. I think the person who sheds all societal impressions and hopes and instead dons the goal of being a decent person, regardless of what others think, will come out on top in the end.

    “everyone who is popular ends up pathetic” – loved this, because when popularity is someone’s fuel, what lasting impact does that have at all – on a life or on the world?

    • Two words:

      . . . Edward Cullen.

      • I often use him as an example of how people are Sheep and think that someone is hot because everyone Else says that he/she is. Edward Cullen is Not attractive at all. If he hadn’t been put into a role so many people already had a Crush on thanks to their booklove, he’d have been mediocre with some people thinking he’s hot and a lot Not caring about him at all.

        But maybe that’s just me.

      • it’s not so much of him as being a fantasized romantic novel avatar, as much as he is a fad.

      • @kanriah btw, welcome to The Titan Project. It’s nice to see new people.

  4. I agree with most of this. The only thing that got me was the idea that the popular kids are going to end up pathetic, because I’ve known some “popular” kids in my high school who I thought were above that stereotype. Partly, I’m wondering what makes someone popular in the first place. Who decides or how does it work? If it’s not active on one person’s part, then does that reflect their image of their own life and how much work they need to put into it to make something of themselves? I’m only a few years out of high school, but I think someone of the people I considered “popular” will go on to do great things with their life. It doesn’t seem fair to group them as failures and pathetic from the start.

    • The truth is, everyone who is popular ends up pathetic. Not only that; everyone who wants or ends up dating them, are shallow. Of course, there’s a narrow obvious disclaimer that there are almost some exceptions.

      I meant socially pathetic. Since popular kids have been associated with the top of the food chain, they usually have no idea how to meet people in a sincere comfortable manner without the demanding dominant culture that has been tradition for them.

  5. Popular kids, a lot of the time, do not end up on top in the long run. Why? Because there was nothing to them but popularity. People always idolized them and never called them out on anything. They slid by on their popularity and that is not how the world works.
    It may work for them in high school and college and maybe for a little in the real world too, but eventually they get giant slap in the face. They don’t know how to deal with it because they never built up that response, they never needed to. Simple evolution. When doors get slammed in your face you learn how to open new ones. But if you never heard the slam then you don’t get to learn that skill.

    Anyone watch 30 Rock? I forget which season it is but Liz Lemon is dating this really hot doctor guy. She thinks he must be smart and perfect because he is amazing looking and is a doctor. But she soon realizes that he is the dumbest person she has ever met and got through life just by being good-looking and popular. He was never told he was wrong, or had done something stupid, until she told him he was a complete idiot. Then later you see his life unravel.

    See where I am going with this?

    Great post !

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  7. Very fun to read post, I have to say. It made me think of my short stint at a four year college, where the idiots that were obviously the big dogs at their high schools were the very few that were not generally accepted in the small, elite school full of academics and cultural diversity. He was actually quite unattractive (even ugly), which I notice is a common trait more-so among “popular” males than females. They talk a big game and can pull attention-getting stunts to appease their public. That kind of perpetuates the idea that you highlighted toward the beginning how people like what they are told to like, and often assume that something seems well-liked or has a high opinion of itself for valid reasons.
    This article made me think of Twilight, and then I read the Edward Cullen comment and felt validated enough to support my point. The primary characters are really quite disgusting (in the male lead’s case) or completely empty (in the female lead’s case), but in the books are the object of much admiration. Seems like this has spread to the readers whose lack of judgment or sense of reality allow them to fail to see the shortcomings of their heroes and instead encourages the idea that certain negative characteristics the “popular” types have are acceptable, if not desirable.

    • Yeah, i guess this could also be seen as a marketing post and a way to show people how something can become viral. even though it’s against what I wrote about, it’s still pretty useful.

  8. The school I graduated from was actually really different. It was a small DoDDs school. so there was no real Popular group. There were groups that were more Visible than others, but there were several. There weren’t really that many clear Unpopular people. Everyone could pretty much intermingle unless they Chose not to. The closest they got to having a group of people who were not accepted was the middle school/ high school boundary. We were all in the same building and shared some classes (foreign languages and that sort of thing mostly), but they kept the basement level while the high school students kept to the upper levels.

    But in the first high school I went to, it was Very typical. And I never had any desire to follow that pattern. I never really knew who the popular kids were or what they were up to. I chose not to intermingle with the many popular groups at my 2nd high school the first year I was there since I expected it to be like the stereotypical HS that I had attended first. It wasn’t until senior year that I was able to see how Different it was. Didn’t really appreciate it then like I do now though.

    I think too many people allow others to do their thinking for them. They follow the crowd, like the same things, hate the same things. Too few people are individuals even as adults. If you do the same thing and like it because you know it’s the kind of thing you like? Great. If you do it because everyone else says you should? grow up.

    • I grew up in a high school where practically half the school spoke spanish. It totally broke the popular barrier from being popular to being “ghetto.” I ended up going to typical high school built around clicks and different high school sub species. I hated it. I dragged myself to school after making the decision to go there. I ended up leaving and going back to the first school. I lost so much in the transfer but I gained so much hope. I knew so much more about who I was by coming back then I would by focusing on who I was perceived as by other people.

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