Niko Matheos, Phillips Exeter Academy
Oct 31, 2019

During the Halloween season, America focuses on different masks one should wear. Advertisements for Party City, costumes, and those stupid Reece’s commercials that always make me hungry all just let humanity add more layers to our complicated way of masking ourselves. Humanity wears masks as a way to defend themselves from vulnerability and pain. People put on these metaphorical masks to not have to show the way that they truly feel.

It is easy to cover my emotions by pretending– pretending to be happy, pretending to be okay. This complex act of covering up what one truly feels can be called an emotional doorman. When I would talk to someone, my brain would send them to a certain floor of my brain, each one containing a different, complex mask to show the person I was talking to. In this way, I thought I would be able to control what people saw of me. In reality, it led to me feeling overwhelmed talking to people.

Not everyone does this. Not everyone has different masks that they let different people see. But, most people do censor off some part of themselves to the outside world. However small, that is still a mask. That is still a way to hide what you feel or want by covering it with someone else. Emotional masks are damaging to the wearer and the people talking to them. Masks manage to hide who you are and replace that person with the one you think you want–or think you should–be. Instead, masks just end up concealing how one feels by replacing it with lies.

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