Have you ever played “pretend” with a kid, who enthusiastically told you you’re a bear? A baker? Or a character from a cartoon you never heard of? The character you’re assigned to might sound like a trivial detail, but what if – just for the heck of it – we’d put a little significance to what role was chosen for us? It could provide us some insight on how you’re perceived, or even about our personalities. Or you know, it’s just a simple bit of fun. When I recently ended up being a My Little Pony, I decided to give it some extra thought.
What character do children assign you?
Remember when you were little, and you and your friends were playing to be characters from popular television series, comics or cartoons? You always chose (or at least, tried to be) your favorite. For instance when I was in kindergarten (a good 25 years ago), I always played the yellow power ranger. Later on, if I had to pick a character from the X-men, I wanted to be Rogue. And whenever we pretended to be animals, I made sure I was a kitty.
Children (and in my experience especially little girls) love to play pretend. Like playing house, where a mom and a dad need to be assigned. Naturally, the pets and the plushies end up being the kids.
Or playing out a fictional scenario similar to the ones I just described. How often did I walk hand in hand with one of my little cousins, who kicked off playtime along the lines of “I’m going to be Pikachu, which Pokémon do you want to be?”
Of course I’m blessed with older siblings who managed to spawn a couple of delightful nieces and nephews. But I bet you have experienced similar scenario’s with the children around you, or maybe even your own. Of course all of this is pretty innocent. Some kids might not put a lot of thought into this, making their choices more of a spontaneous whim than anything else. But in some cases, the characters these kids pick for you might very well tell a lot more than you think.
Just think about it: Whenever you pick a favorite – whether it’s a favorite dish, flower, movie or book – it usually says something about your character. The more it develops, the better you know what you like and what fits you. A hopeless romantic might go for strawberries, red roses, The Notebook and Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. And an adventurous person might like escargots, jasmine, Indiana Jones and a book like Robinson Crusoe.
If another person makes a guess for your favorites, it says a lot about how they perceive you as well. The difference with adults is, that they might try to sugar-coat their answer for your (or their own) benefit.
Children on the other hand, have a tendency to give their honest opinions without considering much else: They simply don’t have the life experience or the tools to do otherwise. This usually results in the purest, brutal, sometimes funny, but usually honest answers.
How I ended up being a My Little Pony
Last week I visited the zoo with my family. While my newborn nephew was calmly guided along the sights in a stroller, my 5 year old niece was bouncing around the premises. Although excited to see the animals, she quickly fell into a playful routine of pretend.
“So I’m going to be Fluttershy, because I like Fluttershy…”
Despite how it’s sometimes hard to keep up with her terminology (if not her joyous babbling) I faintly recognized the name. Fluttershy is a character from “My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic”, a renewed My Little Pony cartoon which involves a lot of singing and squeeky dialogue. Although I’ve never seen the show, the name and the characters ring a bell. Especially after some past extensive anthropological research about the older male fans of the series, who call themselves “Bronies”*.
* If you’re interested in people and their quirks, make sure to google this term: You’ll be in for a treat!
My niece tittered along about how she was magic and that she was able to fly, and had all kinds of other super powers.
“Grandma is Applejack”, she added to the conversation. I nod appreciatively, wondering which pony I’ll end up being. She told me that day and truth be told, I played along without giving it too much attention. I was more in the mood to watch the animals with her, than to pretend-canter around the zoo all day.
A week later I’m lounging on the couch with a glass of wine, and that old bit of dialogue popped up. Which pony did she say I was again?
It’s kind of interesting, right? Just like the power rangers in my day, these cartoon characters all have simplistic yet distinctive character traits. One is more caring and gentle, the other more daring and tough. One is more matronly, while the other is cheeky and youthful. There were tons of ponies to choose from, but thinking back at the conversation, she put some deliberate thought into her choice. She considered her options and picked one exclusively for me…
Damn, I forgot which My Little Pony I was.
So I picked up the phone and called my sister in law.
“Hey love, is my little niece still up?”
“Yes she is!”
“Cool, I need to speak with her.”
Kudo’s to my sister in law who doesn’t ask questions about an auntie calling at 7:30 PM, telling she has business with her 5 year old.
“Hey honey, how are you doing?”
“Hey Nathalie! I’m watching TV.”
“Oh I’m sorry to disturb you, I just have one question. Which My Little Pony was I again?”
Kudo’s to my little niece who doesn’t ask questions, and knows exactly what I’m talking about.
“Oh ok darling, thank you, I won’t keep you any longer!”
I’m Rarity… What’s a rarity?
Needless to say, once you find out what pretend character you have been assigned, you start googling.
Now I don’t want to say this is a trustworthy way of personality typing. This isn’t an in-depth character test like the one from Meyers-Briggs or Jung. But it’s interesting. Did your child-companion assign you someone serious and intelligent? Funny and care-free? Cool and reserved?
I don’t want to say you have to make study out of this, or even take it too seriously. But I got to admit: I think it’s a lot of fun to try and make a little sense out of the choice this kid made – you know, if there’s any sense at all. Because you should definitely take these conclusions with a grain of salt (hence the title, “A highly inconclusive personality test”). But who knows, you might start seeing a pattern on how kids – or at least this kid, likes to label you based on some simplistic, superficial character traits.
So, without further ado, this is the description of the pony my little niece assigned to me:
Rarity is well known for her generosity. She enjoys designing fashionable clothes for her friends to make them look as fabulous as they are on the inside. She is always happy to share with others.
Do you remember which characters you’ve been assigned by the kids around you? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!