researchers in england looked into what factors help make a smart student also popular (rather than labled a ‘nerd’). the first bit of what they found has that “you needed research to figure that out, didja?” feel to it. but i thought the second factor was interesting.
here’s a link to the article.
but here’s how it was reported on neatorama:
Research in nine state secondary schools in England found that the vast majority of “alpha” girls were thought of as physically attractive by classmates, had long straight hair, wore make-up to school and used lots of hair accessories, when this was allowed by the uniform code.
The “alpha” boys, were perceived to be “cute”. Many had gelled or styled shorter hair, carried banded sports bags and wore their ties in a “jaunty” or casual way.
Bright boys’ prowess on the playing field was also an important factor in ensuring they avoided derision.
… and two: have a “fall guy” as a friend:
Researchers also identified a “fall guy” phenomenon whereby alpha pupils gain kudos by having a best friend who is more disruptive at school, while avoiding facing the discipline that is meted out to the friend.