Happy Halloween! Because the 5th Monday of this month falls on a holiday that celebrates identity exploration, I thought it would be interesting to do an interview centered around this theme. My wonderful sister, Claire, was brave enough to do a sort of self care challenge that required her to take on the identities of others to explore different ways of caring for herself. I asked her to choose 3 characters who have styles, attitudes, or self care routines that are very different from her own. Check out her incredibly honest and thoughtful interview below.
What is the hardest thing for you about doing self care?
One of the hardest parts of self care for me is remembering to do it! I can get so caught up in stress/ anxiety/ etc., that I forget that I have tools to use to combat it. Additionally, I often feel undeserving of self-care.
Describe the self care challenge we did and talk about who you emulated for a day.
The challenge was to emulate characters and their qualities, in order to learn more about the characters and about myself. I chose first to emulate Ducky from Pretty in Pink. Ducky is unforgivingly himself, exuberantly and overwhelmingly affectionate, and very confident. He is a great friend, and forgiving to others (sometimes at his own expense). To emulate Duckie, I dressed however the fuck I wanted, carried myself in a very confident and bold way, I boldly asked a girl out, I sang and danced wildly in the car and received lots of stares. During my time as Duckie, I found that I was treated with more interest and respect from others, and also respected myself more as well.
The second character I emulated was Audrey Hepburn's Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany's. This character is also confident, but in a very different way. She is conniving and often takes advantage of other people for her own benefit. She is also resourceful, dedicated, and extremely charismatic. To emulate Holly, I carried myself in a way similar to when I was emulating Duckie, but in a way that gave off arrogance and entitlement more than the self-love that Duckie expressed.
The third character that I emulated was Sia's dancer, Maddie Ziegler. When she performs, she gives off pure confidence, innocence, and freedom. When I wore Sia's outfit (which is just a leotard, covering very little of my body), I felt so comfortable. I felt like I could do anything. I interestingly felt very similarly to Sia's song "Unstoppable," which goes, "I'm unstoppable... I'm invincible, I win every single game, I'm so powerful, I don't need batteries today, I'm so confident that I'm unstoppable today." I was treated with so much fascination and wonder, and had incredible amounts of self-love. Although I was wearing very little clothing, I didn't feel sexualized in the slightest, which was refreshing and freeing.
Would you consider incorporating any of these characters' qualities or attitudes into your own identity?
I learned that I felt like I needed to be sexualized to be respected. I loved discovering that I was respected so much more for being bold, being confident, being "myself". I would love to incorporate that into my life.
Going forward, are there other characters you would like to embody for a day in order to learn more about their self care? What do you anticipate learning from them?
I would love to be Ferris Bueller, but I imagine that from him I would learn that if I don't take responsibilities seriously, there will be serious consequences. But I would have lots of fun!
I would love to be Scout Finch. I imaging that my experience as Scout would be similar to that of Maddie, in that I would experience the freedom of innocence. However Scout suffered much more from the weight of the world, and so I would have to learn about the benefits of introspection as well.
I am so very grateful to Claire for being willing to take on this challenge, and then for giving such an honest and genuine interview. I'm sure that many of us can relate to her struggle with feeling undeserving of self care. This is something that I unfortunately hear a lot in sessions with clients, in conversations with friends, and even in my own mind as I work to figure out what my needs are in any given moment. It is so interesting to me that the characters Claire chose to emulate are people who are, in part, defined by a sense of confidence. I wonder if she sought them out specifically for this reason, knowing that this self assuredness was something she could benefit from. It is my hope that, through her experience of "being" these different characters, Claire was able to absorb and internalize some of their confidence.
Who are some characters that you admire? Would you consider emulating them for a day in order to absorb some of their qualities. Let me know in the comments below!