Image Makers, Packaging, the Masks Of Narcissism

The image that many Narcissists work on is just like a "logo" or a "brand" on a product. It presents them as someone we would like, trust, believe, and want to be connected to, and it covers up all those "little flaws". A really well-done image can carry a pretty nasty person a very long way, leaving ugly pollution and destruction in their wake.

People who work in advertising get paid big bucks to come up with a way to package and present a product so customers will like it at first glance, want to buy it, and believe that it's good. Customers don't do all kinds of lab tests or road tests on products they're going to buy, and even those who believe they're very picky and aware still get sucked in by super slick packaging and very sneaky advertising.

The same thing is done with politicians and other humans in the public eye; a "brand" is created to make the person seem familiar, likeable, attractive, and magnetic. People take lessons to learn how to present themselves, and they keep their "signature look" much longer than they would in their personal lives. I personally enjoy watching the hand gestures that politicians adapt, and I find it kind of funny knowing that when they get anxious or distracted they have to consciously remember to keep doing their certain hand gestures, keep their facial expressions a certain way, their vocal tone and language a certain way, and keep standing with good posture, no matter how tired or stressed they are. They have to, because without that honed image packaging, citizens will see and realize that they're just "regular people" just like themselves, and they'll lose votes. Humans generally WANT their leaders to seem like they're above and beyond "regular people", believing that makes them feel more secure. Much like children like to think of their parents as super-smart and super-strong, it makes us feel safe.

So it's easy to see why a Narcissist would do this, especially if they're aware of their own propensity for betrayal and scamming. They wouldn't get two inches if they weren't wearing a facade, no one would trust them if they could really see them.

A Narcissist's image might appear as anything at all that seems to work for the particular individual's purposes.
One might create a package that shouts "Super Fun!", another might portray "Very Serious And Experienced", another might appear as "Just One Of The Gals!" or "Just One Of The Guys!" another might glow with "Extra Caring And Extra Sweet", and still another might appear as "Extremely Spiritual And Enlightened", etc, etc. A popular one in this modern culture is "Extremely Responsible With Extra Common Sense, And In Control".
Is the person I know really like that? Or is it a facade, what they want to be known as? Or is it a manipulation toward me, personally? The only way to find out for sure is to keep a courteous distance, and wait and see. (It seems that people in past eras used to be generally much better at getting to know others  before "letting them in", and keeping their own boundaries intact.)

Just like a product that's very bad for your health is often packaged as the next greatest thing, or a politician who's only real goal is money and power but they have everyone convinced they're innocent, brilliant, and wonderful, the Narcissist packages themselves as how they want to be seen, not what's really inside.
We humans will FREQUENTLY buy the slicker packaged product much more quickly than we'll try a product that's ACTUALLY better, if the packaging is less appealing. Most of us think we're slicker than that, but it's in our DNA, we're easily fooled by packaging. Not just some of us, all of us. Some more than others, but we're all afflicted, it's just how our human brain works. Therefore, it's not that difficult for Narcissists to fool lots of people for a very long time.
Hence the phrase "You can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time." If Narcissism wasn't a known part of our world for a very long time, there wouldn't be so many adages like that one. We have a hard time learning these lessons because that "packaging" blindness is written into our chromosomes.