“So, what’s the brand of your mask?”
We live in a truly plastic world. A world where you are judged according to the brand of the mask you wear every day to hide The True You from the rest of the world. We are trained like soldiers, commanded like puppets since the day we first saw the light of this earth to keep facing the world through the masks we were born with, the costumes we are forced to wear. We raise our glasses in pretentious delight for a toast with people we hardly know to celebrate the fact that we have so far succeeded in living a life facing the world with the right branded mask – without once looking away from the crowd to take a breath of the uncontaminated air surrounding your fabricated smile. Like marionettes on a string, we mechanically meet people in public places, wearing our most expensive mask, branded by our favourite designer to take part in conversations and formulate sentences we believe others want to hear. We choose the brand of our mask, the designs and materials, the price of the labels according to the season, the latest trends and tendencies – to impress those who are in any case too focussed on keeping up their own disguise to care about ours.
In their fabricated world, they went on their first date. As he usually does, he asked her to tell him about herself.
She did not say the following.
Who am I? Some days I’m funny, others I’m not. I live, I love, I laugh, I cry. What you see is only half of what I am. I have the ability to manufacture a hundred different faces, only a part of me is what I’ll show you now. You see, my hands are tied to these plastic cups, I am glued to this artificial chair and my designer mask is glistering so brightly in the sunlight that it keeps you from noticing the loneliness in my eyes. I choose to display a fraction of my true self. As I am sitting here, staring hesitantly into your dark eyes peeping through the holes in your Armani mask, I am telling you with a slight smile- This is not the truth of me. You don’t know me. You never will. Because I am an expert in choosing my mask: never allowing you to peek too far behind it… for then you’ll perhaps catch a glimpse of the Made in China print on the inside of my Prada facade. I will raise this plastic cup and produce a phoney laugh with you, leaning back against my stool while loosening my chemically bleached hair, only wishing to shout at you in silence from within: “If you don’t like my words, don’t listen. If you don’t like my appearance, don’t look. If you don’t like my actions, turn your head. For In a world where I can supposedly be anything… I’m dying behind this damn mask just to be myself…”