The imaginary friend social phenomenon

As a child I liked to play games that were mostly pretend interacting with my dolls or play with my brother’s figures; we would act out roles and play as if the toys were actual living things. But for me that is childhood I think its inevitable that we grow out these phases but we also learn certain social situations and help our creative imaginations by doing them.

I never had a imaginary friend as a young child; maybe being in a house hold with two other similar aged siblings helped this fact. I’ve been looking into the imaginary and also other mental things for my fashion film. I find imaginary friends interesting though because I find them so bazaar; what makes the child grow out of this phase and is the idea of a imaginary friend just a toned down immature version of a schizophrenic adult? there are obvious similarities. The age range for a invisible friend is three to four years according to the Parenting and Child Health Network . Upon research I also found out that imaginative friendship’s filtered into three groups

The variety of forms that invisible friends come in is a testament to the power of imagination. Tracy Gleason and her colleagues cite these examples from their research on invisible friends.

— Star Friends and Heart Fan Club: “Groups of preschool-aged human friends with whom the child had birthdays, went to the fair, and spoke a language called Hobotchi.”

— Herd of cows: “Cows of many colors and varying sizes who were often fed or diapered like infants. Discovered when the child’s father accidentally stepped on one.”

— Maybe: “A human of varying gender whom the child routinely summoned by shouting out the front door of the family’s house.”

As these descriptions show, invisible friends can be human, animal, or fantasy creatures. They may appear alone or in groups. Boys tend to invent only male imaginary friends, whereas girls have either male or female ones.

I found this out on Psychology Today I found this article extremely interesting because of the huge range that can be created from such a young child’s mind. The article also said that even though the children they interviewed gave great details into their friends most of them knew that they were a figment of their imagination; looking at transcripts of 86 children’s interviews 77% answered yes when the interviewer asked if the children’s friend was pretend.

What I also find is through hollywood and other cinema the idea of a imaginary friend has somewhat become dark and creepy; such as Chelsea in The Amityville horror with her friend/ghost Jodie or Donnie Darko’s Frank these cinematic idea’s have created a darker side to the imagination/mental mind. In my own film my character like Frank will be wearing a mask but will still be the same person playing both roles with the ideals of the surreal but also an escapism from her busy life that is stuck in the routine. A normal commute to work will seem very unusual.


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