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Popular in High School (L2)

This is the 2nd lesson in my “How to be Popular in High School” program. I highly suggest reading the introduction, and starting this program from the beginning if you haven’t already done so. This second lesson will be covered over two posts as image is an extremely important topic that needs to be thoroughly covered in great detail.

Lesson 2- “Image is everything”

*I want to forewarn this lesson. Everything you learn about image must be implemented slowly. Nothing will cause you to get laughed at faster than to show up one Monday with a completely new style, new haircut, and so on. You must do this slowly. Over the course of a month or two.

Image is everything. It is how you carry yourself. Think like this. When you walk into a parking lot, what cars catch your attention? The Ford Taurus? The Toyota Corola? No. The 745i series. The Corvette. The Porsche. The SL500 Mercedes convertible. These cars are sitting right along side of hundreds of other cars. But you notice those cars. They don’t yell out for your attention. They don’t flag you down, and say “look at me” But those are the cars you look at because of their reputation, their fine details, and their alluring Image.

These cars have presence. And if you want to be popular in high school you need to have the same commanding presence these cars have.

You need to dress fashionably. You need to know what the current trends are before most everyone else. You can’t wait for the popular kids to tell you what to like. You have to be in line with them or ahead of them with trends. Because if you’re waiting for them to dictate what you can wear, or what music you can listen to, chances are by the time your wearing it, its out of style.

Popular kids generally know what the current trends are because they have older friends or siblings in college.. and its the twenty something crowd that sets the trends.

You need to be up to date with the trends. If you don’t have “cool” older friends or siblings then you need to be following fashionable websites, blogs, magazines, to know what the trends are. It isn’t called “being trendy” for nothing.

When it comes to creating your image, I always suggest modeling yourself after a celebrity that you most resemble or whose style you would like to emulate. Celebrities pay fashion consultants thousands of dollars to keep them trendy… there is no reason not to take advantage of the lessons they teach with every outfit they wear, or CD they admit to listening to…

Generally I recommend picking a celebrity you most resemble. But it is also important to pick someone who fits the style you are going after. If you’re going after the “bad ass” look you would want to choose someone like Colin Farrel. If you’re more of the athlete type choose someone like Tom Brady or Tony Romo. If you’re the artsy music type choose someone from a popular band. If you’re going for a preppy look choose someone like Matt Damon. The examples I’m giving may be outdated by the time you read this. Choose someone in their twenties. Choose someone who is well known and followed in the media.

You don’t want to copy their style from a movie. You want to copy their style from their day to day life, what you see in the gossip magazines.

You are probably thinking that you can’t afford the clothes they are wearing. You’re right. You can’t. But what you can do is mimic the clothes by purchasing similar outfits of less expensive brands. Another option that I’ve done is go to thrift shops or Salvation Army stores with clip outs of outfits you want to put together. You can by a whole new wardrobe for like $50.

You can also start putting more of your focus, money, and energy toward you image. This is the basis of who you are in high school. Instead of dropping $60 on a new video game… buy a pair of the trendiest sneakers you can find. A solid pair of kicks is your best investment. Spend $100 if you have to. Everything else can be second hand. But the sneakers must be the real deal. And once they’ve run their course and gone out of style. Buy a new pair. A good pair of sneakers is the cornerstone of a good wardrobe.

But image is more than just wearing trendy clothes. It is the total package.

Some other tips to enhance your presence and image – from The 7 Elements of Charisma.

* If you're white, work on maintaining a healthy tan. No sunshine?Find a nearby tanning salon.

* Pay attention to how you walk, sit, and stand. Your posture should make you appear to be confident and at ease with your surroundings. Even if you're not at ease, pay attention to your posture so that it seems as though you are.

* Flaunt a sincere, friendly smile at strategic intervals (but don't over do it – learn to read when it is called for, and when it's not). * A sincere, friendly smile is a strong weapon. It breaks the ice, tears down people's walls, automatically paints you as a person of high self- esteem and confidence.

* What is your mind set? You are in a situation that requires a strong focus on tact and diplomacy. Meaning, knowing when to speak, and what to say when you speak, knowing when not to speak, and knowing how to carry yourself throughout.

* How do your eyes follow the crowd? As if you're disinterested (meaning, you're not payingtoo much attention to any one person) – and that's because you feel that their is nobody worthy of your attention. In other words, you're never star-struck because you are the star. In the end, your goal is to give off the impression that you're a prestigious person accustomed to ranking high in social circles – not even the blonde-bombshell walking by can shake this poise. You may cast a glance, but you're to prestigious to stare. *People around you WILL notice this and subconsciously decide that you ARE a person of prestige.

In a world where most people lack a high level of self-respect, it is easy to stand out when you have it and it shows. And if you don't have a high level of self-respect (again, like most), then fake it. Take note – the trick to faking it is to fake it with sincerity (this will be repeated further along).

By themselves, these simple details regarding a positive, prestigious self-image don't accomplish much, but when packaged together they merge for great effect. And now you've created presence.

When creating a charismatic image, you're using this instinct to your advantage (which most people can't control because they're unaware that it is something happening in their subconscious). Here's an analogy: If you look like a thug, you'll be prejudged as probably being a thug. If you look like your gay, you'll be prejudged as probably being gay. And if you look like a charismatic person used to respect and even admiration, you will be prejudged as a person who is probably charismatic and worthy of respect and even admiration.

Once you've been prejudged, it's that much easier to create the effect that you're after. Notice that we used the word probably in the above paragraph? We use the word probably to represent the other person's expectations. This is what he or she expects. And because they expect it, now it's that much easier to give it to them.

Many elements make up Image; presence is but one. Most people don't understand the charismatic persona and can only assume that it comes naturally to some people. Maybe for a very rare and select few. For the rest of us, it is an acquired art – something that we practice in our daily encounters with others until it is developed over time. Charisma opens many doors and will get you into many places otherwise far off limits. It is a very influential tool when you want something.

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About Bobby Rio I'm Bobby Rio, one of the founders of TSB. I tend to write about what is on my mind so you'll find a mix of self development, social dynamics and dating articles/experiences.  For a collection of some of my favorite articles check them out.

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