Desire To Be Someone Else

Most of us has probably wondered at least once in our lifetime what it would be like if we were someone else.  Whether it is a celebrity living a lavish life style and a world of fame, someone else who’s larger than life, influential, an idol that did something that significant or simply an acquaintance who seems to have a more interesting life, intriguing enough to wonder what it would be like to be in their shoes.  The desire to be someone else is often portrayed in the movies as pure fantasy, out of curiosity, wanting to be in a different situation, or something deeper– being unhappy with ourselves.

I remember when I was about 5, as an Asian kid, (and the only Asian in class), with “small eyes,” dark hair and dark eyes; honestly, I didn’t want to look Asian or BE Asian, which was a shame probably due part because of being told how weird ugly I looked by other kids.  So at such a young age, I had already fallen for the pop culture idea of beauty.  I desperately wanted that all American look and I also wanted to fit in.  I wanted to have blonde hair and blue eyes like the people in the show “Step by Step.”  Every night, I would pray and wish upon a star that I would wake up with blonde hair and blue eyes.  Of course that wish never came true, so I gave up, but that still didn’t stop my desire to be someone else.

Then there was this this singer that I completely idolized in the early 90s.  This person was actually a mixed race (black & caucasian), initially brunette with brown eyes made, who later on made more controversial transition mid to late 90s, eventually dying hair to blond, changing image drastically but still really famous today which ironically at one point I resented.  But before the transition, I convinced my mom to perm my hair with the most perfect curls like the idol.  Of course, it always turned out unexpectedly frizzy, like the typical 80s hair style.  I wanted so bad to look like this someone else; I was captivated by this singer’s voice and beauty.

Then as I got older, I understood the concept of popularity.  I assume this is probably one of the most common fantasy others probably had was the desire to be that popular person, even if it were for a day.  Generally someone popular usually has a lot of friends, has the looks, maybe athletic, influential, “has it together” and everyone seems to like that person.  No pity story intended, but to be honest, I was the outcast for the longest time, quiet, wore outdated hand me downs (which I totally appreciated and didn’t care that I was), but really wished I was one of the beautiful people that everyone was drawn to. Everyone wants to be loved.

So yes, I do have to admit, wishing to be someone had to do with all the possible reasons mentioned above.  Out of curiosity, out of being unhappy with my current situation, and unhappy with myself outside and inside.  I’ve grown up a lot since then, and did take a long time to accept who I was and then my adult years before appreciating my ethnicity, and what I was born with.  It’s easy for us to look at others in the media and say “Wow, imagine if I was this person.. I wish I had that life!”

Today, there are occasions where I wish and imagine someone else, but for different reasons.  Ironically enough, that “someone else” I strongly desire to be now– is me, a few years ago.  More like a part of me that used to exist.  Why?  Well, things have changed drastically over the years, life happens, situations happen beyond my control, and a part of me went into a “coma” or “died” waiting to rise like a phoenix.  For others, this can be synonymous to– used to maintain a certain weight, used to be more confident, used to be more in control of your own life, used to be healthier, used to be someone who you want to be again now.  We reminisce of our pastimes and we wish to be that person again.

So in some cases the occasional fantasy about living a life like a celebrity or wishing to be someone fantastic else is healthy when you’re idolizing someone that makes you want to and strive to be better, but not so healthy when you’re just putting yourself down or day dreaming/avoiding reality for most of your waking hours, (when maybe there is a less-than-sunshine-and-roses situation you don’t want to face that you really need to resolve or deal with).  Which one is it?  I think identifying this and then making realistic steps towards being the person you want to be and the life you want to live will help you live out that dream.  If it’s not possible to be exactly how the person that you wish, to be, there are other things that are also full-filling and just as comparable.

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