How To Repair A Bad Reputation

by Mimi Lopez   |  Jun 26, 2010
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So you’ve wound up in a Burn Book, except this time, it’s not just the Mean Girls’ hate list; it’s the whole school’s. For one tiny indiscretion or other, you’ve been branded for life, and the mark ain’t so easy to shake off.

Every day, we try to strike a careful balance between shaping our own identity and needing to belong. So when you’re relegated to social outcast status for being someone you’re sure you’re not, or someone you don’t want to be anymore, then you’re in a lose-lose situation. When the tattoo forced upon you was never, or is not now, reflective of what you know of yourself, then its permanence is a pain. Sadly, you might find yourself losing potential friends even before you’ve said hello. Defeated, you might lash out and turn the reputation that turned them off into a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Sticks and stones do break your bones but sometimes words are worse. So, if the monster in your place is hardly the girl staring at you in the mirror, then it’s time for some damage control. Break free of that pigeonhole and, unconstrained, unfold a better version of yourself!

Busted Bad Rap #1
Profiled as: The Slut

Rumor has it
Your wardrobe would rival that of Li'l J’ in Gossip Girl—when she started dating drug lords and stealing boyfriends of stepsisters. Your one requirement for a boyfriend? An Adam’s apple. Friends’ exes and potential boylets are not spared; your “stringent” standard automatically lands them a spot on your pool of people to purr at.

Rumor, In Retrospect.
If you’ve got it, you flaunt it, right? Thus,the clothes. You look to romantic relationships to complete you, but go through guys like water because they end up being a horrible fit to your missing piece. You lay the flirtation indiscriminately on the next schmoe hoping this time you’ll hit the jackpot.

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Notorious No More! It’s one thing to be vampy, it’s quite another to be perceived as having fangs. If you’re done with the trailer trash image, you must:

  • Tie those threads together. A little mystery still goes a long way. Nothing wrong with highlighting what you’re proud of, but at the risk of being an exhibitionist, one must keep that pride in check.
  • Realize that with the respect to dressing dos, there is a right way and the highway (red light district style, if you may). Insist on inappropriateness, and snag a pervert, why don’t you? Catch a cold while you’re at it too.
  •  Foster friendships. Might as well plaster the word “competition” on your forehead, because as far as girls are concerned, you’re to be avoided like the plague. But the reward of a purely platonic friendship, with girls and guys alike, is not to be underestimated. It’s love in its most uncomplicated, without the romantic hang-ups. Seek to grow with people you have no intention of making googoo eyes at and earn everyone’s trust back. Repeat after me: Guys are NOT the antidote; they are ONLY icing on the cake. Quit that game, player, and realize that the prize to be won is you. Save that for the best.

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Mimi Lopez
Contributing Writer
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