I was a Barbie girl. Yes, I hounded my sister daily to play Barbies with me. She hated it. I of course still persisted. I probably had 10 different Barbies and one Ken doll to go along with them. I am not sure what ever made me want to play with Barbie. It is hard to see in hindsight as I am so far from a Barbie girl these days. I, of course, did not see that their feet were set in a previous high heel position, or that getting their high heels on was nearly impossible. Is that why I hate high heels today?
One of mine had a fake tan (I think she was called Bikini Barbie), another was Exercise Barbie with her own workout outfits, one had a fancy dress, another was Bride Barbie, but other than their differing outfits they all looked the same — not much to differentiate them from the other. I know I made up different scenarios and enjoyed trying to create different clothing options — so maybe I was interested in design and had no idea. Other than that I do not remember why I was so enamored with Barbie.
Fast forward to 2015 and Barbie launches this new ad that is not about fashion and looks, but rather teaching, sports, and taking care of animals. It goes deeper. While maybe it feels like the adults looking on are laughing at them, I wonder if the laughing is fascination with what is coming out of each girls mouth. I am not sure what a young girl would think if they watched this ad, but I hope that the message at the end: “When a Girl Plays with Barbie She Imagines Everything She Can Become.” My hope is that a girl does not have to just play with Barbie, but that when a girl plays at all her imagination lets her create the world around her so she sees all she can be.
I recently came across a book that peaked my interest in the art of fascination. The title is what interested me and when I got the book and found that it was over 400 pages I thought, no way I am going to finish this book. I did. It is actually an easy read. It turns out the beginning part of the book explains the author’s process which describes her fascination test, the middle section defines all the different fascination types, and the last section describes how to create your mantra of sorts. The book? “How the World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination” by Sally Hogshead.
Hogshead talks about how we are basically 99% boring, and that we all have 1% in us that is unique to each individual and that is the part of us that fascinates others. She says:
“… every time you introduce yourself, you have about nine seconds to engage your listener. This is your window of opportunity for connection. If you earn their interest during those nine seconds, people will be more likely to trust you, respect you, and like you. But if you fumble—if you fail to fascinate—they’ll become distracted from you and your message. Or worse, they’ll ignore you entirely.” Page 121
I was “fascinated.” All we get is nine seconds, and we have to be our best self in that time to intrigue our listener. Do we talk about ourselves those entire nine seconds or do we connect with another individual? I will have to watch myself in the coming weeks and see what I do in those first nine seconds. You will want to take some time to explore her book. She discusses our first and second advantages and what is your highest, distinct value and that you should bring that to the first nine seconds of meeting someone. She indicates that when we share our highest, distinct value is when we most fascinate others, and when we are the most valuable.
Let me know if you want to know my results from her test. To learn more about Sally Hogshead, or take her test go to the How To Fascinate website.