If I lost my voice or if my voice changed, who would I be? I’m sure many people have spoken with an accent at least a time or two whether it is just for fun or to try to disguise himself or herself as someone else. Truth is, it’s easy to change your voice and do this, and because of that as much as we may like to deny it, I’m pretty sure that we can all think of a time or two when we’ve fallen victim to this.
In the movie, Pillow Talk, the main character Brad, changes his accent in order to get a girl that originally despises him. Initially, you may think “how can this be?” or “how does that work?” but we’ve all heard stories of someone disguising themselves as someone else because they just wanted to be different, sound cooler, or even to mess with other people. But in this case, it was to get a girl. It was rather easy for Brad because Jan, the woman he’s trying to impress and the woman that originally hates him, had never actually seen each other face to face before and only knew each other by the others character and voice on the phone. Because of this, when Brad first meets Jan face to face, he has no problem telling her his name is Rex Stetson from Texas. Throughout the movie, he uses a thick country accent when speaking to her and his normal voice when speaking to everyone else, like his boss, Jonathan. Rex also uses country slang and analogies to further sell his part.
This idea serves to prove even further, just how dependent we are on our voices and voice recognition. For instance, if you were to hear a bunch of voices outside of your room, there’s a good chance that you could pick out your best friend’s voice with no problem. Or similarly, you could pick out a celebrity’s or a famous person’s voice from a crowd. For instance, if you were to hear President Barrack Obama speak, you would more than likely know who it is. Now why is that? I believe that it’s because when you meet someone, a part of their identity is in their voice, which is why we remember it.
However, this also has a downfall because it subject us to code switching because when we change our voice, we feel like we change. It’s rejuvenating. A change in our voice gives us a freedom from ourselves, if only temporarily, to distance ourselves from our true identity.
My voice is mine and your voice is yours. I can try to imitate one other than mine but it’ll never truly be mine, because it’s not a part of my identity and me. As fun as it may be to speak with a different accent from time to time, don’t change your voice permanently, because your voice is yours and only yours, and is a unique part of you.