1969: Types of Boys…The Non-Athlete Celebrity

In response to the recent excerpts from Ellen Peck’s How to Get a Teen-Age Boy and What to Do with Him when You Get Him, Jenn asked “Just out of curiosity…how do you get a non-athlete celebrity?”

Ellen describes these as “the editor of the school paper or yearbook, the student council vice-pres, and the Guy Who Organizes the School Assemblies. What about them?”

“As a group, they’re intelligent. And they’ve decided to use their intelligence in some way that will get them recognition. They’ve decided to, then worked at it. . . . [they] have put a lot of work and planning into getting where they are. Why? They need recognition ~ more than most. They want a little power. Power that will make them feel just as big as the football or basketball star. . . .

There are two aspects to the non-athlete-celeb’s activity: (1) need for recognition; (2) generally, a real interest in debate, writing, photography ~ whatever it is he’s doing. But the need for recognition is at least fifty percent of the picture. Appeal to this, rather than the interest area. That is, appreciating his skill in his field is better than jumping into the field yourself. You don’t have to love photography to impress the yearbook photographer. Just say, “Oh, what great pictures! How on earth did you get everybody just right?”

Is it going to matter if you don’t share his interest in what he does at all? Maybe. And maybe not. It depends on whether his interest in the field is strong, or whether he’s chosen it just as an arbitrary avenue to recognition. . . .

Ms. Peck does go on to say that “it won’t hurt you to learn something about whatever Bill does,” because it can help you with future conversations with him. Gee, thanks for that tip!