Being oneself is one of the most challenging normality in the modern world. The need to be accepted and appreciated in the society has turned human beings into puppet like beings just to fit in the society. There is a lot of pressure all over, the important one being to make a living. It is clear that the living standards are being raised with each and every passing day and the need to do what somebody else is doing just to be as successful as they are has been on the increase. Technology and globalization have even worsened the case where by nobody seems to care about what the other person does as long as they fit in the society. The conservativeness that culture defined for both genders that put people under check has been ignored as people do what they please just to see another day. The articles I read reveal some of the incidences and scenarios that have changed the world into a big machine as people cover up their humanity just to behave artificially.
The dynamism that is required for an individual, especially when they are encountered with different scenarios and people has made it acceptable for people to act. Goffman describes the world as a big theatre where everybody is an actor. There is no reality in people, and they just have to put on different masks just to survive. The problem is that everybody is so much used to acting that there is nothing strange about it. On the contrary, it is in fact, strange for a person to be themselves when they are required to put on a particular image just to impress the world. Despite the heartache that people have to go through just to obtain a plastic look, they find it worthwhile rather than being normal and consequently are considered abnormal.
Greta takes us through the behaviour of the waiters and the waitress in American restaurants and reveals how their struggle for survival has turned humans into robots. Sexuality and more especially to a woman have been considered to be an important tool of survival. Contrary to ancient times where female sexuality was a personal property to a specific man, the breakthrough that came with female crusaders have made it a stronghold to them. The discovery that women can sell with their bodies even when they do not have the required skills has turned the hospitality industry into a seduction ground. Once a woman realises that she has a face and the body to lure prospective customers, she loses respect even to her bosses (Adams & Bettis, 2003, p. 80). This is simply because they are now at her mercies, as customers will flock a certain restaurant just to behold her seductions. This is unfortunate yet we are forced to live with it.
Natalie takes us through the sporting filed, which has always been dominated by the male species. Women are not so much into sporting activities yet they have found a place simply because of their feminine features. As the men battle it out with balls and nets, women, on the other hand show their girly features, which are meant to either motivate the players or attract more spectators. There is a recognition that sporting activities are all about winning and losing. One side will ultimately win, and the other side will lose. To ensure that the audience is kept in the playground despite the disappointments, cheerleaders become the alternative stop show. For the women, it is not all about using what they have to get extra in terms of income (Goffman, 1959, p. 15). More women have unfortunately resolved to expose what was meant to be personal and secret just to survive.
A twist from the females and their need to break loose and use their feminine features to earn a living, there is also the issue of men who are taking over on the industries that have been referred to like in modern days to be feminine. Anderson in his article takes us through a group of men who are competing for jobs such as cheerleading with the men. The revolution that was staged on women to take up responsibilities, which were considered masculine, has made some roles that were for men appear normal when taken up by women. On the contrary, a male who tries to fit in female dominated responsibilities is looked at differently by the society (Adams & Bettis, 2003, p. 86). This has made most men shy away from roles that require them to show off their bodies just to earn a living. However, this is changing even as most men mask away from what the society thinks or feels about them and embrace what they feel will bring them satisfaction. It has hence been normal to see men taking up cheerleading roles and even modelling just to earn a living.
We are for sure living in a plastic world where people know that what matters to them is has something to do that will satisfy their needs. As people get used to machines and realise how efficient and effective they could be, they also believe they can be equally efficient if they adopted such a lifestyle. Just the way they can customize the machine to fit what they want, most people are also customizing themselves just to fit in different environments. This is tiring and killing people yet they have appreciated the fact that just as machines wear out, they will also wear out, try out on some repairs until when their bodies cannot take anymore. Surprisingly, even with such knowledge, people are not relenting on adopting such lifestyles.
Just as Goffman puts it, this world is indeed a big theatre and each person has to adapt to a particular character with each changing film. Even though man was created to define life, the contrary is happening as life defines a man (Goffman, 1959, p. 10). People are forced to adjust to what is happening around them rather than ensuring that the environment adjusts to what they are. We spent half of our lives creating problems and spent the rest looking for their solutions. Since it is easier creating a problem than finding a solution, many people die with many frustrations and regrets. The most important days of our youth are spent on worthless and meaningless activities, by the time one realises what matters to them, they are too old and sick that they do not have a chance to live better lives. Unfortunately, we are living in a world where the ignorant youths control the world and the old sympathise at their wasted years as they observe their children wasting away. Being plastic is a culture we have adopted, accepted and appreciated, so we have to deal with it.
Adams, N., & Bettis, P. (2003). Commanding the room in short skirts cheering as the embodiment of ideal girlhood. Gender & Society, 17(1), 73-91.
Goffman, E. (1959). The presentation of self in everyday life.