What A (Handsome Boy) Modeling School Can Teach Us About Confidence

It may be one of the greatest demonstrations of the psychology behind the aspirational purchase you’ll ever see. It’s satire, but it perfectly captures how logic goes out the window when people hear the things they want to hear about the things they want to be. 

And, as always with marketing, there’s a dark side to it too. This one’s all dark (well, dark comedy). 

In “The Prettiest Week of My Life” from the 90s show Get A Life, Chris (think: what if Dennis the Menace was in his 30s) tells his parents he’s going to become a male model. He pays $60 to enroll in Handsome Boy Modeling school and graduates ready to work. It’s a grift as old as time. 

The best products and services don’t hold out purely unreasonable promises, they give us the confidence to get there, and remind us of their worth each step of the way. 

It might be the shoes that make you feel a little more confident, or the peers from your MBA class that support each other, or whatever other intangible you need.

What we want to avoid experiencing and delivering to others is a “Handsome Boy Modeling School” experience. The best work doesn’t extract value, it creates more of it. It’s the work we want to do, and it’s the work our clients need us to do. 

Watch and learn:

Ps. and if you know, you know. About the show, and the classic Prince Paul and Dan the Automator albums. I actually never saw this episode where so many of the samples came from until a few years ago. Brilliant.

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