Thursday, 19 July 2018

Mask - why hide behind one?

09:43:00 Posted by Adele Robinson , , , , 1 comment
I have to admit that on the few occasions that I have worn a mask, I have felt a sense of freedom. Perhaps anonymity allows self-expression. I went to a Halloween party dressed as Cat Woman. It was quite a night.

I am reminded of the film version of the comic book mask, where the shy and awkward character played by Jim Carrey, finds a strange mask that completely changes his personality. He is suddenly larger than life, with incredible energy and embarks on all kinds of adventures.  So is that the secret of a mask. It allows you to be someone else for a while.

Of course there are other types of mask. I rarely wear much make up and am fairly conservative in my choice of clothing but when I danced professionally, I wore vivid colours, loads of bling and was very vivacious.  Even now, when I sing with Music Lirica, I love putting on the greasepaint, wearing an eccentric costume, (In the Magic Flute, I dressed as a punk), and performing centre stage.

Stage make up is an exception. Under such bright lights it would be foolish to perform bare-faced.  I may be getting old but I am often shocked by the amount of make up worn by this generation of young women. When I see an obviously pretty girl, covered in slap, I wonder why she might think it improves her looks, when usually the effect is exactly the opposite.

The Mask  

You’re facing the world today
Plastered in make up,
Layer on layer,  
Clogging your pores,
Erupting in acne
Slap on the concealer
You won’t be without it
When you’re out of doors.  

Do bright eyes still sparkle  
beneath the false lashes?
Are lips soft as roses
Beneath the veneer
Of stay put long lipstick,
Smothered in lip gloss?
No longer a smile –
Just a plastic smear.

Teeth that are whitened,
To brightness unnatural,
Hair over processed,
So brittle and dry.
Where are the curls that
Crowned you in childhood?
Straightened and singed -
How your mother must cry.

Where is the chestnut
That shone in the sunshine?
Long, thick and strong 
Now it's brassy like straw. 
Bleached to oblivion,
Pales your complexion.
Drains you of colour.
And makes you seem dour.

Why are you wearing
This sad mask of tragedy?
Is it disguising your shyness
Or fear?
While underneath
is your own special beauty.
Wash it away.
You are lovely my dear!

Thanks for reading.  Adele


Steve Rowland said...

Nice poem Adele. I really like the couplet "No longer a smile/ Just a plastic smear" :-/