Nowadays being popular has somehow been connected to being successful. Being popular signifies for some the same as being attractive, representing something and someone worth striving for. In high school we looked at the popular girls and boys and some parts of us wished we were as popular as them. Those seemingly having it all, those being the ones we wish we were, those who always seem to have it all, from looks, to boyfriends to tons of friends. But do we need it?
The way through which popularity is achieved can take different shapes. Pretty and popular, friendly and popular, bitchy and popular – you name it there are many variations. Popular refers to someone being widely liked or appreciated and commonly someone whose company is sought after. Popularity often applies to the larger public, reflecting the palate of people at large – almost as if what - the popular represents is a commercialized good. Popularity is widely admired, good or bad. We ask ourselves why? Is it jealousy or envy because we want what they have? We could be wrong, yet in our days `being popular` seems to be important to many.
Is being popular really important? Or is it a case of the attraction is based on what you do or can offer? Is it because of ones position in the work place or society? Is it because one takes a stand for a cause? Is it driven by money? Status? Popularity is driven by society and this makes me stand back and wonder; what when someone becomes popular and they turn out to be corrupt, a rapist, a murderer – what does it say about us? Are they still popular among some? Does popularity signify anything personal (moral or ethical)? If not then why do so many pursue to live up to the ideals that popular people of interest represent?
Because we live in a society obsessed with public opinion, being popular becomes a goal worth striving towards – the Kardashian’s case in point. Many factors contribute to estimate how popular a person is – appearance, money, status and the ability to be controversial are clearly some of the determining factors. Commercialization has its price and we are all paying for it it being exposed to constant demands of what it takes to be one of the popular ones. To get there many also need to make sacrifices that in the end might not be worth it. Julius Erving once said "I firmly believe that respect is a lot more important, and a lot greater, than popularity."