Before Beyoncé admitted to the world about her alter ego, Sasha Fierce, I used to come up with alter ego names’ for myself. For instance, Elizabeth Henry was the pen name I wanted to write with if I ever became published (online blog not counting). It’s a combination of my middle name and my father’s last name. I loved how old-fashioned (and very British) it sounded. I used to think that it would bring more credibility than my own name ever would. But my favourite alter ego name I created for myself has to be Lilly Adams.
Lilly Adams was a persona I created when I was sixteen and watching America’s Next Top Model. Like most sixteen year old girls, I was obsessed with fashion. Most of the time, Lilly looked like model/actress Lily Cole but her looks changed depending on my mood. So after playing around with names I liked, I swore that if I ever lost the massive amount of weight it would take for me walk down a runway, that this two hundred twenty pound sixteen year old would want her model name to be known as Lilly Adams.
It started mostly as an absurd thought. I never really thought that I’d ever really be a model so, I put it on the back burner for years as a silly idea. In fact, I never really told many people about my fake model name. I could already imagine the eye rolls, the chuckles and blank stares I would receive. ‘So, you want to be a model?’ was the voices I heard in my head, mocking me. And honestly, it wasn’t so much I wanted to be a model. I was just a cliché teenager who wanted a beautiful photograph to help validate her ever wavering confidence.
So Lilly just became this idea I would think about when I would watch Top Model. Somehow over the years, I developed Lilly into an alter ego. When Top Model would come on, I would wonder, who is Lilly and what makes her so different from me? Lilly is brave, she is fearless. She is silly, confidant, flirtatious and radiant; she’s the type of girl who lights up a room simply by entering it. And while I have many qualities that pride myself for, all of those qualities are not ones I naturally posses.
I tease myself that when I am being naturally flirtatious or extra boisterous, that Lilly has come out to play. When I’m listening to music with my headphones and have the sudden urge to sing or dance, instead of dancing myself per say, I imagine Lilly singing perfectly on tune to whatever song I’m listening to and dancing in the middle of the street. Lilly is apart of me now and she’s not. I try to emulate her as best I can everyday, to be fearless while being utterly loveable.
I think we all have a little bit of Lilly inside of us. Someone who we hide within us most of the time but can be seen within the twinkle of your eye without even realizing it. Maybe it’s the face you put on before you go to work, or the courage you have to sum up to do something scary. Like for Beyoncé, sing in front of millions of fans while having to look utterly perfect. We all have them and I declare it’s time to start giving them names! Maybe yours is named Paula Deen, John Doe or maybe even Larry Tate. Who knows. I think once we recognize these personalities within us, it helps encourage that specific behavior. Or at the very least recognize traits we want to avoid. Maybe Jerkface Jerry comes out when you’ve had too much to drink. That way, you can warn people ahead of time. “Look if I accidentally have too much to drink tonight, just know whatever I say is not me, it’s Jerkface Jerry.”
So hello and meet Lilly. If you catch me singing randomly, or being a little extra flirty or silly, it’s probably because Lilly decided to come out and play.
Lilly comes when you stop to call her
Lilly runs when you look away
Lilly leaves kisses on your collar
Lilly, Lilly, Lilly, Lilly, stay!