JUST KEEP SMILING: SIX MASKS WE WEAR

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By Jennifer Piper

“Be yourself; everyone else is taken.” Oscar Wilde

How many times in a day do we pretend everything is okay, exactly at the moment when we’re wondering how we’re going to make it through to the end of the conversation? When did we all become so preoccupied with making sure everyone thinks we’re on top of it all?

We’re all wearing masks, every day. At work, with our friends and family, with strangers on the train, with the person who makes us coffee.

They’re all quite ridiculous.

Here’s six of them:

1. Domestic Goddess

Smiles at strangers. Waves at the neighbours as she drives away. Reads celebrity magazines and fantasises about the lives she sees in them. Lipstick on. Great sunnies. Just wants the world to believe the kids are great.

Remembers when they were…

Never feels quite put together. Kids are never quite where they should be. Forgotten how to have a conversation.

2. Prim and Proper

Over-prepared for everything. Always neat, polite and well-spoken. Has quiet hobbies that never disturb the neighbours. Never raises voice. Is always colour-coordinated…

Feels like screaming and throwing pot plants and saying every swear word.

3. Champion of the World

Full of energy. Ready to take on the world. Has one thing that she does and she does it with all her might. Definitely going to make it…

But if she doesn’t, what will she do? This is all she’s worth.

4. #Blessed

Perfect hair. Perfect makeup. Perfect nails. Had Pinterest-worthy wedding. Wears Insta-ready outfits…

Still trying to talk self into all of this. Ignoring little voice that says none of it’s real. Soon to upgrade to Mask 1.

5. Busy, busy, busy

Always has something on. Calendar is full of standing engagements. Has a set of regular friends that are seen regularly. Seems to have it all figured out…

Desperate for something wild to happen. Would be first out of the plane if you went skydiving. Would scream with joy all the way down.

6. I am strong, I am invincible

At the pinnacle of career. Life always on track. Unflappable…

Craves an ordinary day. Wants to put on track pants, pour a drink and watch a movie.

You can see all of these masks (and probably a few of your own) on stage in wit incorporated’s hilarious production of Bombshells by Joanna-Murray Smith.

9–24 March at Bluestone Church Arts Space, Footscray. witinc.com.au

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