‘Masking’ the truth

by Emma

As individuals we like to change our appearance to suit the occasion. We like to dress up and also dress down.

We also wear masks depending upon the situation.

The masks we wear are not porcelain based, nor are they rubber (unless of course you have a fetish…enough said). The masks we wear, we use to disguise ourselves. To protect and to portray.

In ancient Greece, masks were used to impersonate a role, a character. They were used to enlarge and power a person’s performance. In the stone ages they were used to stalk prey and call upon the animal spirits. Throughout culture and history, masks have played an important part in disguising and protecting, whether from friend or foe. Ironically we still use masks every day yet these are no longer material based, yet the concept remains the same.

How much of ourselves do we allow to be on show?

To consider this, we need to consider our own level of self-awareness. Our own inner honesty.

Every day I fit my mask, style my hair around it and wear it proudly. I define this as my professional role. It is expected. It is as it needs to be. Many of us have a mask we wear, a persona we fit, which satisfies our job, our career path. We have rules and obligations, and to remain true to ourselves, is to acknowledge that we must dilute part of ourselves to fit within these. The mask obliges happily.

Yet when our role ends, do we remove this and become our true selves again or do we pick an alternate mask to satisfy our own needs? Or others?

When do we become facially naked? When do we remove our disguise?

With family? With friends? With our significant other?

Do we ever feel comfortable being simply us or are we forever playing a role? This concept is intriguing and complex. As humans, we are emotive beings. We constantly seek affirmation and security in our lives (do not deny it, it is who we are). We cannot live and cope eternally alone, as we are pack animals. Community based.

So how far do we go to ensure we keep that? Do we portray our ‘best’ mask to enable our role in life, friendships and relationships? Does this mask enlarge us or offer sweet incentive.

Are we afraid that the mask creates the harmony. Under the mask may not be enough. Is that how we think?

To analyse this positively, we must consider the reasoning and advantages of our ‘masks’. They provide confidence, courage and a happy demure. Yet is a fake smile comparable to a genuine one? Does it fulfil us, and in all honesty, does it fulfill others?

If we are constantly disguising ourselves, and hiding our internal from the external, then who are we really? Do we let anyone know us? Do we even know ourselves?

Questions. Self-analysis. Pondering.

We wear a mask to conceal the true us, yet we expect others to remain truthful. Do we always remain purely objective?

If we forever hide our true emotions and identities, then how can we ever judge others in how they respond to us. In actual fact, their response is conditioned by us. By the persona we create. The mask we wear.

I think that says more about us than it does about them, don’t you think?

The mind of a deep thinker…or complete rubbish…it is all down to interpretation and perception…

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