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Look at Your Phone Case: Now Listen to Me Tell You What It Says About Your Personality

You can tell a lot from a phone case.

Illustration by Ashley Goodall

Personality tests. I love them. They help me get to know myself. Because at night, always, I am kept awake by one question. Who am I? Who am I really? When you strip away social conventions, affectations, and the personality you use at job interviews; what's really left?

We don't know. We're wriggling along like strange, giant Jelly beans, wrestling with our own sentience. This is why, I suspect, we love doing quizzes—like the ones which tell us which Harry Potter house we belong to, or Which Sex and the City character we are, which Iconic Sex and the City Outfit we are, or which Sex and the City Cocktail we are. They offer us little leads that we can use to solve the mysteries that are our own personalities.


So I'm gonna go for it too. I'm gonna appraise you, the people, by the most mundane personal item that I am actually allowed to ask people to show me: phone cases. As they say, the phone case is a window to the soul. I'm going off whatever my coworkers possess, because they're right here in front of me.

What does your phone case say about you? Let's find out.

"Case With Cards Inside" like Royce, the VICE Australia Editorial Director

I am disappointed by this. It says, practical. It says I abide by the law. It says "I will never forget to pay for public transport, I deal with my fines and do not have an upcoming court date for trying to dodge ticket inspectors." I mean, you did just have a kid, so you're being a "responsible" "man." I'll accept it, but I will not enjoy it. You're the editorial director of a VICE. Your phone should have a custom case: an old photo, from 2012 or thereabouts, of you and Gordon Ramsay commando crawling through some scrub, trying to find either Kony or God, whichever appears first.

If you're a Royce: You wear slight variations on the same outfit every day, swapping black trousers out for navy ones. If you committed a murder, nobody would ever, ever find out

"Sparkly Case" like Issy, our Senior Music Writer
Heaps of people in the office have these sparkly cases, because—and I wish this was a joke—one of our editors thought they could start an import-export business buying them online and reselling them. Of course, nothing about it works, because she doesn't actually do the exporting part. Nor does she do the selling part—she just gives them out to us for free. So, I guess this case really speaks to the minimal effort Issy put into actually covering her phone. If said editor hadn't thrown one at her, and Issy didn't catch it, this phone would still just be covered in stickers she got that one time she babysat her niece or something. I think this type of case—free—just says "I do not care about much, but I will pretend to."


If you're an Issy: You say "I want to kill myself" four times a day, each with varying degrees of sincerity. You've probably made a zine.

"Simple Case in Appealing Colour" like Anu, a Video Producer
Look at Anu's perfectly manicured little hand. Look at her nails—they are flawless. She is simply without flaw. This phone case is simple, chic, but not boring: a very irritating combination. If you're the type with a "minimal" but "cool" case and hands that appear to have been soaked in age-defying embryonic fluid every evening: that annoys me. You have good taste, and your phone service never gets cut off.

If you're an Anu: You own at least three Acne t-shirts, and never run more than 10 minutes late.

"No Case At All" like Phil, our Sales Director
There's a rumour going around our office that Phil has special insurance on his house, because his collection of archival Comme des Garçons is that valuable. Like, his phone doesn't have a case because it doesn't need one: he will never drop it. He actually looks after his belongings with great care. Look at it: that thing is completely unscathed! Also, there probably isn't a case that suits his aesthetic anyway—you get the cleanest lines with no case at all.

If you're a Phil: You have been to Japan at least once in the past 12 months. You have a credit card which you always pay back on time. Somebody probably calls you "Daddy."

"Peeling Stickers" like Wendy, the Fashion Editor
This is a lot to take in. There's a lot going on here. A lot of stickers going on here, really. They're all "cute" and "fun" individually, sure. But the problem with covering your phone in rainbows and love-hearts is that you quickly begin to look like an extra in some kind of Lizzie McGuire reboot. It's borderline "twee." Plus, all of the stickers are from renowned-across-Instagram skincare brand Glossier. This means, unfortunately, you are white.


If you're a Wendy: You read Rookie, or you used to, and now are now fiercely critical of it. Alexa Chung is one of your style heroes. Your camera roll is photos of your pets and your own face.

"Heavy Duty Case" like Reuben, our Operations manager
This is a serious "dude" "man" "adult male" case. It's the kind of case you'd take hiking on the Kokoda trail. Unsurprisingly, Reuben himself is an "adult male." He has multiple children and a wife—a singular wife, as far as I know—and he loves to fix things. Like, anything. He fixed the coffee machine here, and "fixed" my laptop, conveniently clearing out the last four years of music in iTunes library: something I'd been meaning to do.

If you're a Reuben: You enjoy a good physical or intellectual challenge, but are likely to complain about it every step of the way. You will throw the Monopoly board off the table when you realise you're losing. Your favourite record of all time is Portishead's Dummy, Radiohead's Kid A or Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues.

"Glitter Case" like Ingrid, our Native Editor
I'm not saying Ingrid is the editor with the failing import-import business, but by the look of things, she might be. This is one of those cases filled with liquid and glitter, so the sparkles move around gently. I am scared of getting one of these because I drop my phone a lot, and I'm worried if it cracks battery fluid will start leaking out. This case is cute and fun though, and you're probably pretty likeable.


If you're an Ingrid: You want to get into screenprinting. You use a lot of emoji—the sparkles, flowers, hearts, and on Fridays (TGIF!) the beer mugs clinking. You are saving up for a Thermomix.

"Minion or Otherwise Meme-Related Case" like Me, This Idiot
This case could say one of two things: "I am a wealthy primary school aged child, who has been given an iPhone by their parents for the express purpose of learning French on a subscription-only language app," or "I am someone who has taken a joke to its natural limit and then some." In this case, it's the latter. If you have a phone case that relates to anything that happened on the internet, you probably have a group chat exclusively for nude photos.

If you are me: You surround yourself with jokes to mask the biggest joke of all. You.

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