Tell me who you want to be
Updated: Apr 24
I have a theory that no one, no matter how happy they are, is fully happy with themselves. Movie characters, book characters, and foreign fantasy worlds, all serve as some sort of solace; an ideal. We want to see ourselves fighting monsters, being a beautiful princess in a castle, shooting lasers, committing crimes, whatever the case may be – there’s always a fictional character or a character we create that we wish we could be.
I recently started playing Dungeons and Dragons, and upon creating a 7-foot-tall emo elf lady who gives me gender envy I began to wonder…would I really want to be her? If given the chance, would I choose to live as this superhuman creature? Probably yes. And because the world revolves around me, I know that I can’t be the only person that feels this way. So I sent out a survey to find out more about how others wish they could see themselves, asking people to describe their dream identity and to answer a few random questions to see if I could find any similarities between grade levels, favorite colors, etc. So, without further ado, the first response I received:
Response 1: Anabella, 15 (she/her)
To start, we have a fellow member of journalism, Anabella. Currently a freshman, she would like to be a teacher when she grows up and enjoys English, drawing, singing, and dancing. Her favorite media genres are horror and comedy, and her favorite color is yellow. We love Anabella.
When asked to describe her dream self, she wrote, “I want to be Batman.” Attached is a visual aid she has provided to help us better understand the character Anabella sees herself as in an ideal world.
In her closing remarks, she said, very simply, very poetically: “I am vengeance.”
Response 2: Anonymous, 15 (he/him)
For my first and only anonymous response, a sophomore whose favorite color is black and whose favorite genre is comedy, presents a fictional character-inspired alter ego. When he grows up, he wants to be an actor, comedian, and/or late-night show host “(but actually funny).”
His dream self is, quite simply, “literally Ramona Flowers but a guy and less problematic.” In terms of physical appearance, he described this ideal (unproblematic) guy as a “manic pixie dream boy with keys to subspace.” The image this elicits is too powerful for any of us, truly. Jasper Mann, a fellow journalism member, practically begged to draw him. So, attached is the result.
Response 3: Ellie, 16 (they/she)
In 11th grade, Ellie’s favorite color is light purple and their favorite subject is theatre. They enjoy “baking and random craft hyper fixations,” and want to be a child psychologist or psychiatrist as an adult. She enjoys mysteries and dramas.
Ellie’s dream self is a “little gay cottage core lesbian” whose only responsibility is to have a beautiful time in a field of flowers outside her cottage in nature, baking and creating crafts and petting their calico cat with their person.
I did the best I could to create an interpretation of Ellie’s dream self, though it was difficult to do them justice because of how cool they are.
Response 4: Flora, 14 (they/them)
Flora is our second ninth grader whose favorite color is yellow. Their favorite genre is dystopian and they enjoy multiple forms of art. They want to be a therapist when they’re older. (Can we be best friends please?)
Their dream self is someone with the body of a tall skinny boy with effortlessly messy hair “who sticks to projects and finishes books.” This one speaks to me. I would also love to be Flora’s dream self. This dream self would be super strong, too, and achieve all of Flora’s rock climbing goals.
My attempt at drawing this character (forgive me, I know I’ll never be able to capture the true essence).
Response 5: Arlon, 18 (he/him)
Arlon is a senior and a man of many favorite colors; he writes: “blues, browns, reds, oranges, yellows.” Another theatre lover, Arlon enjoys the sci-fi genre above all. His favorite activities are playing video games, spending time with his friends, and “vibing in [his] own spaces.”