It’s been a while, so I figured it’s time for another installment of PD on TV! Like thousands of other people, I cut the cord on my cable a while ago, so I am not as up-to-date on what’s been on the air recently. Either way, as someone who lives and breathes Personality Dimensions®, my Personality Radar is always on – trying to get a read on people.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was an instant hit when it first came out and launched the acting career of Will Smith. It had humour, drama, and some unforgettable dance moves! It was a staple for me when I was in high school back in the 90’s. Watching the reruns every day after school held me over until the new episodes came out.
After looking way back to my teenage years, and talking with a few friends, here’s my take on some of characters from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Will – Extraverted Resourceful Orange
The quick-witted rebellious Will Smith (character, not the actor) is best described as an Extroverted Resourceful Orange. Will is the life of a party, and needs to be around people to stay energised. He is quick on his feet, acts well under pressure, and can talk himself out of any situation… except for that one time. He has a natural instinct for opportunity and needs the freedom to go after it. “So you’re telling me to disobey Uncle Phil’s orders, ah-well won’t be the first time… PSSH possy out.”
Uncle Phil – Introverted Organized Gold
The dependable family man Phillip Banks (AKA Uncle Phil) is always at odds with Will. As an Introverted Organized Gold, he values his personal downtime and routine. As a lawyer, and later a judge, he respects authority and process. At the same time, family is one of the most important things to him. He worked hard to get where he is so his kids could have more opportunities and he accepted Will into the family as one of his own. Uncle Phil has helped Will out of a bind on more than one occasion, and supported him through difficult/confusing times with his own father.
Aunt Vivian – Extraverted Authentic Blue
Vivian Banks’ (AKA Aunt Viv) nature can be summed up by Uncle Phil: “Oh please, Vivian. You’d believe the boy if he said he was a famous rapper and his album had just gone platinum!” As an Extraverted Authentic Blue she is a great motivator and recognises the talents of people around her. Relationships and people are important to her; it was at her insistence that Will came to stay with them after he had troubles in Philadelphia. Aunt Viv likes maintaining harmony, so she gets to be the peacemaker between Uncle Phil, Carlton, and Will. She was heavily involved with the human rights movement in her youth, and is the one person in the house that accepts Jazz for who he is.
Carlton – Extraverted Organized Gold/Inquiring Green
Carlton, much like his cousin, is also the life of a party… but in different ways. He is completely energized by having people around, and has been known to break into dance when his self-esteem is high. He is highly rational, strategic, accountable, respectful, trusting, and loyal like most Extraverted Organized Golds/Inquiring Greens. His logical approach and strong sense of justice make Carlton often side with his father in arguments with Will. Sometimes he lets his practicality get in the way; once saying “Dad, don’t do anything stupid! You haven’t updated your will yet.” When it comes down to it, he deeply cares for his family, and will do anything to protect him. Despite their many differences, Carlton sees and treats Will as a brother.
Ashley – Extraverted Resourceful Orange
Ashley Banks starts off in the series as the quiet, reserved younger sister, not at all looking like an Extraverted Resourceful Orange; but comes into her core personality with the help of her older cousin Will. He recognizes that she isn’t happy with the overly structured and methodically planned, quiet life that her parents chose for her, albeit with good intentions. She is happiest and energized by being around people. From the time she skipped out on practicing classical music to listen to Will’s Walkman, to when she dropped out of private school and enrolled in a public high school, it’s clear that Ashley needs to make her own decisions to be successful in life. She takes calculated risks like pursuing her music career, and moving across the country to study the arts.
Geoffrey – Introverted Resourceful Orange/Inquiring Green
Geoffrey Butler threw me a curveball. While at work he comes across as an Introverted Inquiring Green – methodical, logical, and quality conscious. His retorts are quick, but well thought out and clever. When you look at his past, you see a very different side of him that appears Introverted Resourceful Orange. He shows his adaptability, desire for change and variety through his past professions; Oxford graduate, Olympic runner, butler to Led Zeppelin, Greco-Roman wrestler, and sparring partner to Chuck Norris. This could be a case of a strongly developed contextual self because of his chosen career, while still hanging on to his core self. Regardless of which colour preference he is drawing from, he needs his personal time to recharge. At the end of the day he returns to his room to recharge with his own interests.
So, do you remember watching The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? Do you think my Personality Rader was tuned-in correctly? What about some of the others like Hillary, Jazz, and the second Aunt Viv? Leave your comments below and let me know what you think.
By: Brad Whitehorn
Brad Whitehorn – BA, CCDP is the Sales & Marketing Coordinator at CLSR Inc. He was thrown into the career development field headfirst after completing a Communications degree in 2005, and hasn’t looked back! Since then, Brad has worked on the development, implementation and certification for various career and personality assessments (including Personality Dimensions®), making sure that Career Development Practitioners get the right tools to best serve their clients