Comfort characters are our new superheroes
Comfort characters are those whom we can identify with, characters who make us feel calm and happy.
In a way, our comfort characters are an extension of how we choose to view ourselves. Real struggles are often too hard to deal with, but when we see a fictional character go through the same things we do, often on a much grander scale, it can trigger a comforting effect on us. These characters give us a new way of dealing with our emotions, and sometimes even provide a new perspective on our own lives.
The character I personally resonate with is Superman, particularly the interpretations seen in Smallville and Superman and Lois. He makes me feel inspired and hopeful. Smallville features a Clark Kent who is not yet Superman, and I feel like his journey parallels my own in certain ways. The interactions shown between Kent and his parents reminds me of my relationship with my own folks, especially in terms of the kinds of values they try to instil in me, and support me in every step.
Then there's the Clark Kent from Superman and Lois who is a hero with experience, with a family and a stable life. He has deep love for everyone around him and represents everything good and hopeful.
To me, the first Clark is who I am now, and the second Clark is who I aspire to be. Simply put, whenever I try to view myself as Superman, I feel happier and more comfortable.
Relatability is the one constant when it comes to us choosing our comfort characters. Some people, like yours truly, try to insert traits of the character into their own lives; others like to view them as a fantasy version of themselves.
A friend of mine told me he relates to Lucifer Morningstar from Lucifer, because, like Lucifer, he tends to think he is misunderstood by people. According to him, the character is always misunderstood because his way of doing things for "the greater good" was different, and that is something he resonated with in his own life.
I asked another friend what her comfort character was, and she mentioned Lilly Linton from the novel series Storm and Silence by Robert Thier. She not only relates to this character, but finds her to be aspirational. Lilly is an independent and strong character who knows how to move forward on her own.
While relating with fictional characters is often considered to be a form of escapism, I believe we can feel inspired by these characters and try to improve ourselves too. The art of storytelling can do wonders for the human mind, and even people who don't exist can have a profound impact on our lives.
Sabil spends most of his time making memes and trying to stay as hopeful as possible. You can contact him at [email protected]