Your Character and Self-Image

Moon Guard
After seeing the trollish thread in gen forums about how fat characters ruin immersion, I wanted to make this thread.

Self-image is important to creating a dimensional character. Perhaps it is not always obvious, but our own self-image reflects and even influences nearly everything we do in real life. This includes how you see yourself as a competent individual, if you are comfortable with your body, and if you have confidence around strangers.

Naturally, these is a question we should not only ask about ourselves, but also our characters. What sort of self-image does your character have? How does your character think about themselves? This would impact their intimate relationships as well as their relationships with their peers, family, and society.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/self-esteem/MH00129
http://www.easycoursesportal.com/Selfesteem/Lecc-2.htm

Types of self-esteem

People can develop the following types of self-esteem.

High self-esteem (Normal): The person loves themselves and accepts who they are.

Low self-esteem: The person doesn’t love themselves, doesn’t accept who they are and doesn’t value their qualities.

Inflated self-esteem: The person loves themselves more than others and they exaggerate their qualities.

Characteristics of people with high self-esteem

They know what they can do well and they know how they can improve.

They feel happy with themselves.

They express their opinion.

They are not afraid to talk to other people.

They know how to identify and express their emotions to other people.

They participate in activities that are carried out at their school or work.

They value themselves in everyday situations. They give and ask for support.

They like tasks and don’t fear them.

They consider others, they like to help and they are willing to collaborate with other people.

They are creative and original. They invent things. They are interested in carrying out unknown tasks, and they learn new activities quickly.

They fight to reach what they want.

They enjoy the fun things in life, not only in their own lives but in others as well.

They like to carry out new activities.

They are organized in their activities.

They ask when they don’t know something.

They defend their position in front of others.

They recognize when they make a mistake.

They don’t get annoyed when people mention their qualities, but they don’t like to be insulted.

They know their qualities and try to improve their defects.

They are responsible for their actions.

They are natural leaders.


Also, you want to ask yourself why does your character have high/low self-esteem or good/poor body image? Maybe even question whether or not your own self-image has to do with what you've given your character.

So, I would like to open up this discussion.
Fat guys don't ruin immersion. Im pretty much a fat guy trapped in a skinny body since I think fruits and vegetables are the devil.
10/10/2012 07:45 AMPosted by Zhouliang
Fat guys don't ruin immersion. Im pretty much a fat guy trapped in a skinny body since I think fruits and vegetables are the devil.


The guy's point was that fat people could not do all the activities required of a WoW character, I think. However, that discussion is not what this thread is about.
10/10/2012 07:47 AMPosted by Systar
Fat guys don't ruin immersion. Im pretty much a fat guy trapped in a skinny body since I think fruits and vegetables are the devil.


The guy's point was that fat people could not do all the activities required of a WoW character, I think. However, that discussion is not what this thread is about.


I bet Soul Systar has an interesting self-image.

Just look at your gear.
10/10/2012 07:49 AMPosted by Zhouliang


The guy's point was that fat people could not do all the activities required of a WoW character, I think. However, that discussion is not what this thread is about.


I bet Soul Systar has an interesting self-image.

Just look at your gear.


:P

Systar has an over-inflated ego and the self-esteem of a sociopath. The gear she (sometimes) wears actually demonstrates that very well. It's very closely related to her nihilistic outlook. Currently in her timeline she would not be caught wearing an outfit like this, but recently I did an RP that was set a year ago.
Elivina has low and high self-esteem, it depends on where she's at. If she's by her family she has extremely low self-esteem. If she's by herself or someone new, her self-esteem goes up. It's mostly because her family looks down on her, a child that isn't a mage isn't a very good child at all (to them.)
Vhelrillon is as cocky as you might expect a brigand to be. He's fought people twice his size and won, he's not afraid of the little bit of extra weight he's carrying since it doesn't hinder his movements any more than plate would, and sometimes you just need that extra heft to really send a mace or axe through an enemy.

Every once in a while he falters a bit, but I consider that as him just being a normal person. No one is confident all the time.
This is actually a pretty complex character, and I'm going to have to give it a bit of thought for Ferenold. I'd say that you need to organize at least two 'levels' to peroperly look at self-esteem.

Contrived conception of self.

True Conception of self.

I'd gander that there are many more, but I really don't want to write an entire essay about this. I'm going to briefly touch on 'True Conception' of the self though, in saying that this is something that Ferenold hides and has long largely suppressed. It's something that for the most part is a sea of uncertainty and doubt, and in a large respect always has been. Ferenold's essentially someone that was born in to the Borgeiousie yet came to become ingrained moreso with country culture.

As a result there's always been some manner of a disconnect when Ferenold interacts with people he wishes to feel fundamentally connected to. A large part of that is his inability to realise, instead of idealize. As a result his speech, and manner of speaking often comes off as somewhat superficial, while superficiality is largely what Ferenold is actually struggling against from day to day.

It's his 'contrived' conception of the self that really has dominated Ferenold's life for the past tenyears or so, or even moreso. It most certainly has changed a great, great deal, but Ferenold is somebody who is by and large a romantic: someone who blurs the lines between truth and fiction, and is able to feel mere falsehood as if it were fact. Thus, Ferenold is largelyable to fashion an image of himself based on what he percieves, and act accordingly to that image.

It didn't happen instantly, and it's been a fairly large culmilation of various events that led Ferenold to the following image of himself: That as some manner of a heroic bulwark and defender of archaic, chivalric virtue, and a shield against the continual onslaught of the spiritual from the secular that is largely over-taking society.

In that regard, Ferenold has extremely high self-esteem, to the point that he is almost narcissistic. That doesn't mean that Ferenold is necesssarily a selfish person: By and large, I'd say that Ferenold acts in ways that can be considered moral, especially to his country-men. But the object of his image is most certainly not morality, and so I'd say that in some regards he is divorced from it.

His image that he projects of himself is also that of a man who is, in many ways, an anachronism to the time that he lives in. He's clothed in the garb of a minor country noble, and strives to embody some manner of rustic regality that seemingly has passed long ago, at least according to him.

More and more, Ferenold has been convinced by the surety of his own claims, and more and more, he is driven to things that he may not have done months ago. Publishing treasonous poems and the like has most certainly been an example of his increasingly conflated self-image of himself as some manner of a heroic bard, resisting the tyranny of progress.
Shennae, hm. She's an odd case. While I had the audacity to write her as a relatively attractive character (which I try to stay away from for fear that my character will fall into the stunningly beautiful army of characters that seem to dominate Azeroth for unknown reasons), she has a very fractured, conflicted self-image.

The first aspect is that she is the eldest daughter of a large, peasant-class family. Shunted into a mother-role over her siblings by overburdened and at times irresponsible parents, she has some of that mom-esteem going on. I mean, for a good deal of her youth she was simply too preoccupied with more practical matters to fixate on or evaluate her appearance too much. Aside, of course, from the occasional fits of self-consciousness when she runs into a cute boy while she is dressed for work in her brother's hand-me-down trousers and a grubby tunic, or brief vain indulgences such as braiding her hair or wearing a dress.

Secondly, her physical appearances are both a source of security and anxiety. Being a benefactor of the halo effect, in addition to having a bubbly and outgoing personality, she enjoys a good amount of popularity with most people in her social stratum. Because of her lack of education, low class-background and status as an unwed mother, she often feels as though her attractiveness is the only trait a man would find desirable about her. And as she learned form the father of her child, physical attraction precipitates fleeting infatuation but not always the "true love" that she yearns for.

To add on her social status, she is more or less aware of the fact that she's chopped liver. She's an uneducated, illiterate, unwed mother from a lower-class farming family that is considered a bit foolish, even among their own social stratum. While her upbeat personality prevents her from taking too much pity on herself, she is subject to episodes of self-consciousness when among people of a higher class.

Since Systar's character, Wynne, has come into RP, Shennae has realized that she really doesn't have much on Wynne besides maybe comparable attractiveness. Given that Wynne appears to be quite close to Ferenold, perhaps even closer at one time, the 'new girl' gives Shennae a sense that she is being given a run for her money. Seeing that, as explained above, she views her physical appearance as her only desirable trait to men, she has become quite anxious that Ferenold's interests might shift to Wynne. So lately, she has gotten quite busy with upping the ante, courting Ferenold a bit more aggressively by working hard at becoming a 'lady'.

*shivers* Oooooh! The drama XD

EDIT: Good grief that response turned out long!!! Count on Sys to get everyone talking XD

EDIT: I suppose, looking after the list again, Shennae would have relatively high self-esteem, despite her awareness of all her flaws. I intend to write her as a generally happy individual, if not due to her circumstances than due to her mental simplicity, at least insofar as the conclusions about life and herself that she draws from her experiences.
10/10/2012 07:47 AMPosted by Systar
The guy's point was that fat people could not do all the activities required of a WoW character, I think.


u wot m8

A fit person couldn't do the stuff required of a WoW character.

Put on a set of plate armor, an iron shield and a weapon and try to jump your own height from a standstill, for one.

Run from one end of a - hell, ride from one end of a continent to the other without getting fatigued.

Hit in the head with an axe? Well eat some Homemade Cherry Pie you crybaby. Don't question it, just eat the !@#$ing pie.

Complaining that a fat guy couldn't do the stuff WoW characters do strikes me as just complaining for the sake of complaining.
I would have just said try not to drown in plate armor, but Kurze's examples are good too.
Av's ego is way overinflated. It's the attitude he puts on for most others around him.

He really does just loathe himself to the core.
I think Cal'mai has healthy self esteem, but it wasn't always that way. She used to be really down on herself. Now she's grown mostly to like herself. But she still wishes she had bigger boobs.
Imria has rather healthy self esteem. She's tall blonde and physically attractive and good at her chosen profession. It wasn't always that way, but then she met her husband who thinks she's absolutely perfect, he's very good for her ego.
10/10/2012 08:49 AMPosted by Calmai
I think Cal'mai has healthy self esteem, but it wasn't always that way. She used to be really down on herself. Now she's grown mostly to like herself. But she still wishes she had bigger boobs.


She should visit a forsaken doctor. "They're real, they're not mine, but they're real..."
Considering that my character is a vain, arrogant psycho who's part of a race of typically gorgeous creatures that go hundreds of years looking and feeling like the pinnacle of health... her self-esteem is doing pretty well. The trials and trauma of recent decades have simply added to her self-image, building her up (in her eyes) as one of the few strong enough to pull through the disasters and become the embodiment of terrible retribution (Blood Knight, etc.).

Honestly, having no confidence or losing self-esteem at this point would probably mean finally breaking entirely under the stress of the everything she's gone through.
Oh mangs, you're going to get me talking about Wynne and Shennae. This is totes my favourite RP to think about atm. I'm fearful to share much OOC, because I'd hate to ruin the surprise. However, you shared so many interesting things, I feel like I should definitely reciprocate.

I was largely inspired by some of Ferenold's writings on worgen since romanticism and neo-romanticism have always fascinated me. I decided to draw aspects from my favourite books, poems, and songs. I had a vision of an elegant, but battle-beaten woman on the grey Headlands glen with the wind twisting her long hair, singing a woeful song. I ended up with the beautiful Wynne.

Wynne is the pinnacle of feminine attractiveness; she's exotic, luscious, and dainty. I really enjoy playing characters with certain weaknesses and have always hesitated playing a typically attractive character. For Wynne, I decided to make her physical attractiveness her biggest weakness.

I will try to give the basics since I could probably write a great length on this. Her parents were well to do merchants in Southshore. She spent her childhood sneaking around in the woods with her best friend, even sneaking past the Gilneas wall to explore the Headlands. There she met an elderly man who taught her aspects of the Old Ways, mostly star gazing related. When she grew older her parents shipped her off to receive an education in Dalaran, learning Arcane arts, painting, dancing, and societal etiquette. Her best friend also went with her, attending a school for gentlemen. During their time in Dalaran a romance bloomed, two childhood sweethearts in love. Soon he asked her hand in marriage, giving her a diamond ring and swearing to love her eternally.

She was visiting her parents in Southshore when the forsaken raided and slaughtered the civilians. In short, it was horrifying. She watched her family murdered and risen by the val'kyr to become faithful stewards of the undead. Wynne and a handful of survivors who were backed into a corner on Fenris Isle. They were met by saviors, worgen offering their blood to grant immunity from undeath. It was her only option and she took it.

I tried to imagine how all of this would affect a young, beautiful aspiring lady. She would be without the ritual of Taldoren, so she went months running the forests of Hillsbrad as a wild worgen. She eventually happened upon others of similar circumstance who shared an herbal mixture which allowed her to take her human form again. This was on cure, however, any sign of emotion would trigger transformation into her worgen form.

Elated that she could once more be human, Wynne immediately journeyed to Dalaran to meet her fiance. Shortly after, she accidentally turned in front of him. He was horrified and shunned her. This took a serious toll on her. From there she began to wander, living her life as a gypsy. She would often have spells where she would disappear into the woods, not remembering where she had been. That's when she met Ferenold who helped her by performing the ritual of Taldoren. Frightened of her new control, Wynne once again disappeared and fled into the woods. After having experiences which I will not share here (those are the surprises), she decided she was greatly indebted to Fere and must find him.

She is very much a beauty and beast, so this dictates her self-esteem. Wynne went from being beloved, adored, and cherished to shunned by being repulsive. Her emotions have been her downfall, so she has learned to restrain them using (sometimes) severe techniques. What Ferenold have back to her was a fragile grasp on who she once was, but the damage and scars are already there. I think this creates very odd first impressions of Wynne. She has lost absolutely all of her social skills. She comes across as completely un-relatable and almost robotic.

She's definitely not romantically involved with Ferenold. She sees him as her saving grace and has developed an undying loyalty to him. I'd eventually like to see this transfer to loyalty of Ferenold's nationalistic movements. Though she is not Gilnean, she will eventually see the Gilneas people as her own. I would like to continue the misconception that she may be a romantic threat to Shennae for a while simply because it's very fun to have Wynne be so unaware. I love the drama. *Grabby hands* ;)
Considering that my character is a vain, arrogant psycho who's part of a race of typically gorgeous creatures that go hundreds of years looking and feeling like the pinnacle of health... her self-esteem is doing pretty well. The trails and trauma of recent decades have simply added to her self-image, building her up (in her eyes) as one of the few strong enough to pull through the disasters and become the embodiment of terrible retribution (Blood Knight, etc.).

Honestly, having no confidence or losing self-esteem at this point would probably mean finally breaking entirely under the stress of the everything she's gone through.


God, I love Lellex.
*looks at thread*

No... Just no...

Vess is way to damn complex...

Not going to write a 20 page essay on her...

*groans and leaves*

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