#113 “Identity Crisis”

From Charlie in San Francisco, California

Labels. We often say that we hate them, but in some ways we all strive for them. Let’s be honest: In reality, everyone is searching for an identity. Sometimes the identities that we seek out are truly unique and individualistic. At other times, our desire is to belong to a clique or group that will allow us to be a part of a collective identity and secure a position of belonging.

Overall, I don’t think that there is anything wrong with a desire to be known as a certain “type” of person. It provides security and safety and makes us feel like we have a definitive of knowledge of our own selves, and most of the time there’s nothing wrong with this. Introspection is something we value, and creating labels for ourselves allows us to feel like we have achieved this even if we have not.

As for myself, I have sought out a variety of labels and identities over the years. In high school I was at first a nerd. Then I turned granola. After this, I dabbled in the stoner or hippie identity with a little bit of southern redneck thrown in for good measure. During all of this, I played the class clown and the sarcastic deadpan comedian with a hard exterior but a heart of gold.

As you can tell, of course, the pictures that are on display today explore a couple of modern labels that have only recently entered into our cultural lexicon. Now, I am not sure if you despise those that seem to adhere to the characteristics of these illustrations or if you are the person who fully exemplifies them. Either way, I think we can all agree that these illustrations are humorously exaggerated but also entertaining in their accuracy.

Over the past several months, I have engaged in a fair amount of communication back and forth with Charlie. I don’t really know exactly who she is because I have never met her in person. So… I couldn’t tell you if she is a hipster, hippie, scenester, nerd, goth, mean girl, yuppie, stoner, wasp, queen bee, wallflower, punk, emo kid, mod, or bla bla bla. But… I can tell you that she is another wonderful contributor to the Wolves by Strangers project and for that I have the deepest respect and admiration for her, and of course, as you can see, she is a very talented and unique artist. Also, I just have to say that I was so impressed when she asked me to send her some WBS flyers to hang up in San Francisco. How cool is that? If you want some flyers to hang up in your town, just let me know, and I would be more than happy to send some your way.

Finally, just as a final note, here is a hilarious website that details 37 different personality types. Check it out and see which label fits you best.


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