Lunchbox Identity Crisis
Picking out a new lunchbox was the best part of back-to-school shopping, and maybe the hardest.
For a kid, a lunchbox is more than just a means of getting your PB&J to school in tact. It’s a badge of identity in a world where alliances are brokered over intimate knowledge of the world of pop culture. You didn’t see that movie? Well then, you’re out.
And one of the hardest things, really, is finding the right balance between popularity and individuality. The worst would be to have someone else get the exact same lunchbox as you. Another Garfield lunchbox, no problem. You guys have great taste (and probably both hate Mondays). But two twin lunchboxes with the exact same image on it? Well, you two better be best friends (and girls) otherwise you are unoriginal. You want to be right in the middle of accepted self-expression, but still standing on your own. Which makes perfect sense to a third grader.
And so, begins a process of self analysis. Am I a TV show kind of a kid? Live-action or animated? More of a Big Bird or a Cookie Monster? Frankly, we don’t give kids enough credit. They negotiate the kind of soul searching that we have come to expect from 30-year-olds on sabbatical in India, and they do it all while maintaining an eight o’clock bedtime. At the age of seven, a kid has already defined the type of person they want to present to the world and carefully curated a means to display that: Six Million Dollar Man lunchbox with a Jimmie Walker “Dynomite” sticker in the lower left corner. Tells the world everything they need to know.