In my freshman year of college, I, like many unwilling students, was forced to take a philosophy class, forced to learn something that was both uninteresting and useless to my future as a mathematician –what an ignorant teenager! Not only was my professor insanely good-looking (and awkward at the same time), but I earned an A+ in the class and was exempt from the final exam (not to mention, my 4.1 GPA for the Fall Semester and acceptance into both Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Lambda Sigma Honor Societies!). I soaked up quite a bit of nonsense, but one lecture that remains with me was that regarding Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave,” in which prisoners are trapped in an immobile position facing a wall in a cave with a fire behind them. Between the prisoners and the fire, there is a ramp with people walking by, holding random figures on their heads and making noises as they pass; the prisoners can see only shadows and hear only echoes-they are capturing a duplicate from the original so-to-speak. Such a story struck me deeply-I will never be able to truly see my face outside of what I gather from a mirror. Each mirror casts a slightly different reflection than the previous and so-on, and people can say you’re either pretty or ugly, based on a matter of taste and presentation; a mere opinion!
When some days are tougher than others, like the prisoners, I too can become flabbergasted by all that passes in front of me, even if it is something as pointless as a man carrying a fat cat on his head. Strange, but who cares?! It is nice to have a sweet escape from the chaos brought about in a day-embrace a character and use their tactics to get out of the situation. I like to reflect on the roles of Reese Witherspoon, as she tends to embody strong women who prevail and achieve success and happiness. I can relate pretty closely to several of her portrayals.
Elle Woods (“Legally Blonde”): She brought the party to Harvard, and as a fellow ivy-leaguer, I did the same at Columbia, defying the doubters, having the last laugh, and wearing hot-pink to formal events. I would think nothing of frolicking about a bunny costume at a wine tasting amongst society’s elite. Yes, it can be deemed a state of emergency to if your nails and toes need curing! Sidenote: Like Elle and her dog Bruiser, my dog Martini and I are both of the same zodiac sign (We are Leos-Elle and Bruiser are Geminis)! It is possible that I am the real-life Elle Woods, wouldn’t you say?
Tracy Flick (“Election”): Running for class president can become a full-time job; I know because I assumed that role for three years in high school and in the fourth, ran unopposed for Student Council President. Like Tracy, I had the mentality of being untouchable, knowing that I was most deserving to lead my peers. I may not have thrown temper tantrums in private or ripped down my opponent’s campaign posters, but I delivered when needed, gave a banging speech when it counted most. I even overcame the doubters (I mean, to my knowledge, no teacher ever tried to rig the voting!). Those cupcakes and buttons paid off in the end!
Melanie Carmichael (“Sweet Home Alabama”): I can only dream of being kidnapped and taken to “Tiffany’s” to await my choice of exquisite and expensive engagement rings; I can also dream of being wooed by two gorgeous men simultaneously! I can see myself getting engaged to another man while still being married to my high school sweetheart! You live once! When it comes to fashion, Melanie and I are not afraid to take risks and wear bushy floral dresses with tall, green, suede boots! I never had to live a lie or change my identity, but sometimes I think it might be fun to give a go at it! (or not!)
I see a little bit of myself in each of the aforementioned portrayals, Elle Woods truest to my persona. Unfortunately, walking along the streets of NYC in my five dollar, oversized shades, I am constantly called out by onlookers as “Snooki,” even though I do not look anything like her (I’m taller and less tan most of all). I often remind my friends that the Jenna-Bun came way before the Snooki-Poof, and since she became famous before I did, I find myself left in the shadows like those prisoners! I can’t say that I am flattered by such comments, but maybe their words suggest that I belong as the star of a crazy reality show where partying and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol are greatly encouraged! Whooo Hooo! Dare to dream…