Are You Popular? This 1947 Video Has the Answer - Atlas Obscura
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Are You Popular? This 1947 Video Has the Answer

Key point: Don’t park in cars with boys.

“Popularity—what’s it made of? How does a person get to be popular with lots of people, and have a few close friends, too?”

The narrator of this 1947 Coronet Instructional Film asks some pretty provocative questions—and provides a lot of baffling answers.

The video features a number of classmates, chief among them Carolyn, the new girl, and Jenny, who “thinks she has the key to popularity, parking in cars with the boys at night.” Our narrator has a lot of opinions about this late-night cars-‘n’-boys business. None of them are favorable.

Jenny gets stinky stares, cold shoulders, and snide comments (“meow, meow”). The narrator explains, “No, girls who park in cars are not really popular—not even with the boys they park with.” (This is a key point—make sure to jot it down.)

Major stink-eye at the lunch table. (Image: Tolly’s Old Films/YouTube)

Pretty, friendly, considerate Carolyn is a different story. “Now there’s a girl who would really get my vote,” says one of the boys. But now we have a new question: Why is Carolyn welcome, while Jenny is not? (“Is it because they like the way she looks, or dresses? Because she seems as interested in girls, as in boys?”)

Are you a Jenny or a Carolyn? Press play to find out.

Every day we track down a Video Wonder: an audiovisual offering that delights, inspires, and entertains. Have you encountered a video we should feature? Email ella@atlasobscura.com.