Week 5 – Counterfactual Identity –


This weeks activity we had to dress up how we don’t normally dress up as. By challenging ourselves to attempt an alternative persona or “counterfactual identity,” we realize how dissimilar aesthetic qualities can recall many perceptual sensitivities from ourselves.

I decided to swap my normal attire to a more dark and unusual style that I would never go for and I went for the “emo look.” Not quite sure why I attempted this look but perhaps the pressure from my roommates was a factor to it. We were in our dining room studying one night and I was discussing with my roommates about counterfactual identity and asking them what attire I should wear on campus and they decided on, an emo person. My counter identity is definitely for laughs and giggles however, I did take this activity seriously and walked around school dressed up in dark clothing, with my hair in my face, and a lot of black eye makeup. I went to my usual spot where I would hang out with my friends, at the nugget. All my friends and other students looked at me funny. I was very self conscious throughout this whole process but I stuck it through. I never felt so uncomfortable before by just how different I dressed. I asked students around me what they thought my name was and my major. One guy said, “You look like an Amanda and your major could possibly be some type of liberal arts or somewhere in the art program, like animation.” I think he thought I would be in animation because I’m Asian but also stereotypically, emo people tend to like anime. Another random student, a girl thought my name would be Megan and my major would be photography/liberal arts/some type of art major. I laughed at all the answers I got because I didn’t think any of those names or majors suited me. However, my counterfactual identity did because of how I dressed up as. I think it’s quite depressing how people judged others by the way they look. I could be dressed up as an emo person but my personality can be the total opposite of that character. Clearly I was also uncomfortable because I was pretending to be something I wasn’t and that was something I was not comfortable it. We are all dressed a certain way with what we are comfortable in so we can, “fit in.” We dress a certain style not also because we favor it but which crowd we want to please.


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