Thursday, September 22, 2011

Let's Get Real. Really.

Politicians are fighting over whose the most "authentic." And we're supposed to take them seriously. 

In Stephanie Rosenbloom's article, they wouldn't seem to be the only ones.

How many of us insist that we are being "true to ourselves"? I know Disney made a big thing about this, but who are we kidding? Who enters society without any constraints at all about their internal selves, except b'kiso, b'kaaso, b'koso?
“The best way to sell yourself is to not appear to be selling yourself,” Professor Pooley said. Politicians do it. Celebrities do it. And you, reader, do it every time you tap out a status update on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.
Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that. After all, scholars say people have always maintained multiple selves: there’s the version that you present to your family, the you that you are with your colleagues, the you that you are with members of your poker club. They are all, in some way, “you.” It’s what the sociologist Erving Goffman was referring to in the late 1950s when he likened all human interaction to theatrical performance. 
Life online is no different. As one of Professor Baron’s students told her: Facebook is “me on my best day.”
I like this end point: 
Take Nicki Minaj, the hip-hop singer who has purposefully adopted theatrical alter egos with names like Roman Zolanski and Nicki Teresa.
“I’m definitely playing a role,” Ms. Minaj explained in BlackBook magazine. “They don’t pay to see me roll out of bed with crust in my eyes, and say, ‘Hey guys, this is me, authentic.’ They pay for a show.”
Just because I put on a show doesn't mean that's not "me." By "show," in my case, I mean those times I pretend to be in a good mood, say, when going through a particularly painful date. The fact that I can act like that is also part of who I am. 

So if we are all authentic, that means no one is authentic. Sort of like how if everybody is special, nobody is special.   

2 comments:

yeshivaforum said...

I think there is a difference. As long as you maintain control, you're right, it's you. But if you feel forced to put on a show, it feels fake, and bad.

Princess Lea said...

YF: True. I am all for the rational mind keeping emotions in check. However, if one is feeling forced to put on a show, ie in terms of peer pressure, then one is allowing themselves to be ruled by their emotions.