One of my favorite books as a child was Me Too Iguana. Written by Jaquelyn Reinach, it was part of the Sweet Pickles series which featured a friendly city populated entirely by animals. My memory is that there where 26 books in all, one for each letter of the alphabet, and that they could be purchased via mail. The books arrived in a school bus shaped box with a lunch pail handle so you could take them with you wherever you wished. They were great.
Each book focused on a particular moral or ethical quandary or life lesson with a different animal as the primary character. My favorite was Iguana. In Iguana’s book, Me Too Iguana, Iguana has low self esteem. She thinks that she would be prettier with Lion’s long mane or Zebra’s stripes and goes to great lengths, manufacturing a mane out of a mop head and painting herself with stripes, to be like the other animals. It seems wherever Iguana goes, she wants what others have, if for no other reason than they have is and she does not.
Finally, because it is Sweet Pickles land, her friends become worried about her. So the animals decide to throw a big costume party and invite Iguana so she knows how much they like her. Iguana, of course, makes a costume mashing up the best attributes of her friends. Her friends, they ALL DRESS UP LIKE IGUANA so that she knows that they think she is beautiful and worth emulating too. In the end, she decides that her green skin and spinal bumps are pretty cool after all.
I think we all have a lot to learn from Iguana. It is easy, especially in this digital age to see what others have and think, “Me too! Me too!” But your life and body and path are yours and yours alone and no amount of copy catting or imitation will turn you into someone else. Each one of us possesses valuable and desirous traits, we should lean into these things, not grasp at the strengths of others.