I LOVE that you talk about Phil as his own person and that you bring attention to 'philphobia'! I see in your posts so many of my own thoughts that I've been too afraid/uncomfortable to address, and it makes me happy(? more like satisfied?) that someone is saying it so publicly. It's a disheartening reality some parts of the phandom and it's important to mention it, so thank you <3
I admire Phil so much, and for so many reasons. These are just a few:
- He seems like such a genuinely nice, warm, caring, thoughtful person.
- He seems so generous, such as when he invited Dan onstage at the BONCAs to share his accolades.
- He never brags about his accomplishments, even if maybe sometimes he should! He’s accomplished a lot worth bragging about!
- He seems like a really good friend, not only to Dan but to loads of other people, most of which we never see except in occasional little glimpses like his recent collab with Shawna. This is one of the reasons I wish he did more collabs with other YouTubers, because a lot of them seem very fond of him, but we don’t get to see it much.
- He seems to really try to keep a positive attitude. Sometimes in life that’s hard, like when he got sick on tour, but he seems to always really try to find a way to still be happy and to make others happy, too. He still went out on that stage every night and did his best to make that once-in-a-lifetime experience something every audience member would always remember with joy.
- His love for animals is adorable, but also ethically meaningful. I love that he said in his last live show that while on the tour in Florida he was really worried that they were invading the personal space of the baby alligators. Phil really thinks and cares about the well-being of other creatures, both humans and non-humans. He shows so much respect for the natural world, people and animals and plants and all!
- He seems like a very ambitiously creative thinker who believes he can make things happen, and that’s clearly been the case since childhood, since we’ve seen clips of the movie he made when he was a kid. Most kids wouldn’t have had the drive and perseverence to create such a large project, but kid!Phil did. Just imagine what he still has ahead of him!
- He seems to laugh a lot, and to quite easily laugh at himself. It requires a real belief in yourself, a sense of security and respect for yourself, to be able to laugh so easily when you realize you’ve done something stupid. I’ve always admired that about him, that he doesn’t edit out the moments when he’s filming and says something dumb … instead, he usually emphasizes it in his videos, knowing that millions of people will see it! That’s a sign of incredible comfort with himself, a level of comfort most people never achieve.
- He’s incredibly beautiful from a purely visually aesthetic standpoint, but doesn’t seem to think about that much. It’s rare that we see a photo of him—like the ladybug selfie—where he seems to be emphasizing his own physical beauty. I worry sometimes that this comes from a lack of recognition of his own physical attractiveness, but then pics like the ladybug selfie make me doubt that it’s ignorance, because nobody could look at that photo without thinking, “That is an incredibly beautiful man” … not even Phil, I hope.
- He doesn’t let society’s expectations limit him, and it seems like he never really has. He’s always seemed open and accepting (and even proud) of the ways in which he is unique, different, and even “weird.” He doesn’t let anyone’s expectations of what a 30-year-old man “should” be like determine his behavior or his attitudes. He watches anime and steals cereal and dresses up in silly wigs and giggles and doesn’t let anybody tell him that he needs to “grow up.” There are a million different ways to be a “grown-up,” and I love that Phil defines it for himself instead of letting anyone else define it for him.
Phil is not half of Dan-and-Phil. He is his own person, and I love that person for all the things that make him who he is, even the things he doesn’t let us see, because he has a right to privacy. Whatever parts of himself he chooses not to share, those parts of him still contribute to the whole Phil, and that person is someone I admire and respect.