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Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 10 months ago

Popularity Does Not Necessarily Mean You are a Member of the ‘In’ Crowd


Popularity is a term that scares high school freshman, encourages high school seniors, and does not matter in college. Popularity is giving someone value when a person did nothing worthy to earn the title (The Secrets of Being Popularity). What criterion criteria makes someone popular? Even more important is why has popularity become such a priority in today’s schools. Unless you are good-looking, good at some type of sport, or have the right friends are you popular in high school. However, popularity does not imply that the person is self-fulfilled; their lifelong dreams have not yet reached. As William Penn said, “Avoid being popular; it has many snares, but no real benefits” (http://www.worldofquotes.com/topic/Popularity/1/). If being popular is truly someone’s goal in life that is pathetic. There is certainly no absolute standard of popularity. That is precisely what makes its pursuit so interesting and puzzling. I challenge you to step back and realize that the dictionary definition

Since you brought it up, what is the definition?

does not quite capture what popularity truly is and I hope to provide you with the full picture of it.


A stereotype associated with this quest for status is that people involved in athletics are automatically popular. The assumption that all athletes are popular is a false accusation that I seek to correct. What makes them popular? Is it the jersey that they wear or is it the outstanding performance when the teams need it the most? Not all athletes are popular; therefore, what is the standard of popularity and where do you draw the line? These select few people of the ‘in’ crowd are chosen because of what they do on the field not off of it. Intelligence and personality should play a role in this popularity contest but in most cases it does not. Putting on a jersey for high school team should not automatically put a person in the realm of popularity. There should

should be or is??

be a combination of intelligence on the field and intelligence in the classroom that makes a person popular. Another key element that should play a role of popularity of an athlete is personality. Someone could be extremely good at sports and in the classroom but have an appalling character that people truly do not like. An athlete can strive for popularity; however, it is not just the athletics that makes them popular. It should be a combination of athleticism, personality, and intelligence that makes an athlete popular; never the less, the stereotypes surrounding popularity are hard to contain.


Popularity is a concept in our minds that must


be affirmed by society. A huge part of high school popularity is based on looks. However, the concept of beauty is yet another abstract idea that makes this part of my definition unclear. Is it the popularity that makes someone good looking or is it the good looks that make someone popular? Someone who is popular is automatically assumed to be attractive but everyone does not necessary have to think that to be true. As in my previous argument regarding athletes, people possessing good looks should also have traits that make them likeable for not only their appearance, but also other reputable traits. My previous two explanations for popularity prove to have many overlaps in how someone would portray this word.


My final argument for the definition of popularity is the idea of being in with the right friends. If you are popular you have a certain group of friends that are assumed to have the equal status of popularity or possibly greater status than you. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines popular as commonly liked or approved of, but are all popular kids liked? This is an assumption that is inaccurate because anyone who is popular is bound to be disliked by someone because common doesn’t mean everyone. The unpopular kids tend to reject the conformity that the popular crowd displays. This definition is wide open to criticism because no one can define what a common group of friends is. There should be a definite line defining whether someone is popular that is not dependent on how many people are around that influence their worth. And your task is to tell us where that line lays!


Popularity is not necessarily about being on a sports team or being good-looking or even having the right friends. It is not only the superficial; popularity is not the just the shallow, narrow-minded stereotype that people have come to identify. It is much more. Along with sports, looks, and friends many other things should play a part in the definition of popularity including personality, intelligence and most importantly overall character. In conclusion, popularity is based on society’s view of the definition. Therefore, the definition will constantly change as society’s view changes.

This is an argument paper, which means you have to take a stand!

The generation will undoubtedly reject what one society agrees on as popular and so the cycle continues. Will we ever know if being popular is defined as being a member of the ‘in’ crowd?




Works Cited:


"popular." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2004. http://www.merriam-webster.com (26 Sept. 2005).


Russo, Roy. World of Quotes. Lyrics Crawler. 2003. 17 Sept. 2005<



Seven, Don. The Secrets of Being Popularity. LMNOP. September 17, 2005 <http://www.lmnop.com/popularity.html>.

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