HAVE you ever heard someone say, “Feeling main character siya masyado,” on your For You Page or in real life?
If you’re unsure of what this means, let me explain.
Being a main character, or having what’s referred to as “main character energy,” often means that someone thinks rather highly of themselves. They’re confident, they respect themselves, and they know what they’re worth.
Over time, though, the term “feeling main character” has become something negative. Now, it’s synonymous with words like “feelingera,” or “adik sa sarili;” now, it’s used to mean that you think the world revolves around you.
Personally, though, I don’t think that’s the case. As per the words of USA Today writer David Oliver, a person with main character energy puts themselves first, boldly taking control of their narrative in a self-affirming, completely non-selfish way.
That is the definition that I agree with – the one I think we should all start applying to our lives a little more.
Squeezing into places you don’t belong in
There’s this cheesy white mom-esque quote that’s been going around for years now, which I’m sure you’ve seen at least once on a pillow or a poster somewhere at an overpriced furniture store at the mall.
It goes: “Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle.” And while I used to laugh and cringe whenever I would read it before, it’s unironically become one of my mantras in my day-to-day life.
I’ve always loved dressing up and experimenting with fashion, for example.
I’d get bangs without knowing if they’d fit me, wear clothes that were often against our school’s dress code, or just chop all my hair off just because I wanted a bit of a change. I’d try different makeup styles, experimenting with dark lips and bold eye colors, as well as with different clothing silhouettes and styles, because I liked expressing myself with the way I looked.
I liked being different.
Over time, though, I started getting side-eyed more and more for the way I would express myself. I had friends who would laugh and ask me what the hell I was wearing or would receive anonymous questions to my profile asking what my style inspiration for certain outfits was because they were questionable, to say the least. I had an ex say that my makeup, as well as my choice of clothing, at times gave him “the ick.”
I’d never claimed to be a fashion expert, nor do I claim to be one now. I was simply doing what made me happy, and I never understood why that concept was apparently so bothersome to others.
After that, I started to dress up less and less. I stuck with the safe basics, stopped styling my hair, and wore as little makeup as I could bear. Styling myself felt more like a chore than it did a passion.
It wasn’t just that. It was my personality, too. I once dated someone who would scold me whenever I got too talkative or too excited in public, yelling at me whenever I would separate from them to do my own thing. And for so long, I started to believe that I was the problem: that I was too loud, I was too energetic, I was too much. But I was just being me… and why would I want to change that?
There are many times in life wherein we try to squeeze ourselves into places we don’t belong in: we pretend to like things we don’t like, pretend not to care when people do things to us that we aren’t comfortable with, pretend that we are happy when deep inside, we are miserable.
But I’ve come to realize that life is too short for that. You will always think that, with where you are now, that is all you are meant to be, but I promise you that is not the case. The world is big and beautiful, and there are so many people and places out there that will love you and see you for who you are.
You never need to dull yourself down for mere niceties – to make others feel less uncomfortable. If someone says “Feeling main character ka,” say thank you and end the conversation with a smile.
Not about being the loudest
With some of the most famous examples of characters with main character energy being Regina George from “Mean Girls” or Sharpay Evans from “High School Musical,” there are some who assume that exuding such energy simply means being the loudest, the meanest, or the b*tchiest one in the room.
That is not the case. Not for me, at least.
For me, being the main character means taking control of your life, and doing whatever the hell you want without worrying about what others may say or think, no matter how much that idea may scare you. It’s that exact feeling of being scared, but trying anyway, because life is too short not to.
As long as you aren’t hurting anyone, you should feel free to be you, because why wouldn’t you? You’re a f*cking star!
The year has just started, and the night is young. Whether it be step by step or all at once, do your best to find yourself this year – to become the main character you’ve always aspired to be.