Reflecting on oneself and learning about others is a vital part of good mental wellbeing – it’s as important as your five-a-day. Close friends BEN BLACKMORE and DAN STEWART explore their personalities with a questionnaire about themselves and each other. No conferring allowed! 

Photography by Alex Sainsbury  Interview by Ross Aston

 

Dan wears T-shirt by Final Home, £40 from eBay; 1990s French army trousers, £10; shoes by Snipe, £5 from car-boot sale; 1971 USAF whistle, £18 from eBay

 

Dan:

Ben finds £500 in a changing room. What does he do?
“He keeps it.”

How much do individuals’ clothing choices define their identity?
“A lot, unfortunately. Everyone judges everyone on these things. The only power you have over this is to try to understand why it is you might choose what to wear and to represent yourself by making choices you feel good about, but be aware that everyone will judge you regardless.”

What’s your biggest fear?
“The idea of being put in a box of some sort for one reason or another.”

Do you prefer kittens or puppies?
“Kittens. We have similarly finite reserves of affection.”

Does Ben prefer cockroaches or rats?
“Cockroaches – at least, I hope it’s not rats. Splinter is the only rat I can think of who’s worth anyone’s time.” 

You are wronged by an adversary. Do you seek revenge or turn the other cheek?
“Turn the other cheek. I’m not a fighter.”

Which deadly sin is Ben’s favourite?
“Sloth.”

What trend do you want to come back?
“Portable games like Gameboys and Tamagotchis. They were an extension of yourself and yes, it was always about who had what, but it was without the complexities of adult life.”

What’s one thing that Ben wears that you can’t stand?
“No deodorant.”

What does Ben consider his defining feature?
“His eyebrow. Well that’s what I consider his defining feature.”

You’re walking in the desert and see a tortoise. You flip it on its back so it will die. Why aren’t you flipping it over and helping it?
“Survivalism tells me it’s the right thing to do! That nice hard shell could make a good hat or a bowl. I don’t think I could leave it on its back to starve, though.” 

 

Ben wears vintage Sears jumper, £35; vintage French workwear trousers, £60 from Wolf & Gypsy, Brighton; Princeton University graduation blazer, £70 from eBay

 

Ben

You find £500 in a changing room. What do you do?
“This actually happened! It was just lying there in an unmarked envelope. I told so many people, the person it belonged to found out and I had to give it back.”

How much do individuals’ clothing choices define their identity?
“Identity is more about the ineffable qualities in a person, and perhaps clothes have the capacity to amplify those qualities, but they never create them. They can only do so much.”

What’s Dan’s biggest fear?
“Public humiliation in the field of sports, aka ‘fumbling’.”

Does Dan prefer kittens or puppies?
“Kittens.”

Do you prefer cockroaches or rats?
“Cockroaches. I admire their resilience.”

Dan is wronged by an adversary. Does he seek revenge or turn the other cheek?
“I don’t think he’d seek actual retribution, but he’s not above the silent treatment. I was once an hour late to dinner and there was no speaking to him.”

Which deadly sin is your favourite?
“Sloth.”

What trend do you want to come back?
“I would like to see a greater appreciation for food stains. I am confounded by the cross-body bumbag pandemic at the moment.”

What’s one thing that Dan wears that you can’t stand?
“My Pink Panther keychain – which, in a bout of uncharacteristic generosity, I gave to him and now I want back.”

What do you consider your defining feature?
“My nose, which I share with every female protagonist of the Pixar canon.”

Dan’s walking in the desert and sees a tortoise He flips it on its back so it will die. Why isn’t he flipping it over and helping it?
“If only Dan were a replicant – I feel as though it would be very on-brand for him. ‘Is this to be an empathy test?’”