Lessons in Image Management you can learn from Charlie Chaplin
Say what you will about Charlie Chaplin, he got one thing bang on in his career as a professional actor and comedian.
He saw the importance of an archetype in representing his image. This statement begs the question: What is an Archetype?
To define it very simply, an archetype is an example of a very typical person or thing.
It is different from figures of speech such as similes and metaphors because the paradigm of similes and metaphors is much bigger than that of archetypes.
She is like a Rose – Is a simile where a person’s beauty is comparable to a Rose
She is a Rose – Is a metaphor because the person isn’t being likened to a Rose but is being called a Rose.
She is like Rose from Titanic – The name Rose here roughly fits the description of an archetype (some may concur it is a Pop Culture reference) because there is a frame of reference embedded in the collective consciousness of people who have watched the film. She is like Rose from Titanic says that the person being referred to is quite similar to Rose’s character in the film: The Archetype or the Portrait of an elite girl looking for meaning in her life.
What archetype did Charlie Chaplin get right? The archetype of the Tramp. Charlie Chaplin understood how the human mind organizes human character. How we categorize people. How our mind simply wants a shorter way to refer to something in a specific context.
What can you learn from this?
First, as a professional concerned with projecting the right image, it helps to expose yourself to a wider number of archetypes. Reading is one way. Observing people around you is an even better way.
While this may seem like a reason to judge, label or categorize others around you, bear in mind that the more you stray from objectivity while judging others, the more difficult it becomes to find the right kind of understanding of what is the right image for yourself.
Therefore, when observing people, understand the importance of their strengths, weaknesses, character flaws, abilities, nature etc.
Secondly, one needs to introspect deeply on one’s own strengths, motivations, reasoning, etc. in order to project the image of who one truly is.
It’s like they always say in the Image Business: Be yourself…But Be your Best Self.
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