Kenneth Gergen In Defense Of Masks Summary

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In Kenneth Gergen’s “In Defence of Masks,” he argues that people wear different ‘masks’ to project different identities of themselves rather than having a single unified ‘self’. Although psychologists believe that wearing a ‘mask’ is awful and having a single unified ‘self’ is natural, Gergen’s experiments have led him to believe that it is not true at all. Gergen “think we are not apt to find a single basic self to which we can be true”, he believes that our identities are shaped by our society and it is healthy to wear different masks which also helps people discover their potential. Gergen did two experiments to prove his theory. His results lead him to conclude that by putting on a ‘mask’, people will have more confidence in themselves.…show more content…
If you have, it is very likely that you are wearing a “mask”. Constantly wearing a ‘mask’ can be a very huge drain on your mind and body because you are forced to do something that you do not enjoy. For example, if your colleagues invite you to a dance club and you are not a fan of loud music and alcohol but you do not want to be the odd one out so you decided to go and pretend that you enjoy going to dance clubs. In the end, you will not have enjoyed your time at the party and you will feel exhausted. If this activity persist several times, think of the effects it will have on you mentally and physically. As Clinical Psychologist Merry Lin said “While you play those roles , juggling those masks you have to wear and hiding your pain… the pressure increases to keep pretending you have it all together. Consider the cost of our souls when you do this, the loss of ourselves.” This matters to the claim that constantly wearing a ‘mask’ can be a huge drain on your mind and body because it constantly puts you in an uncomfortable position where you can’t truly express and be yourself. Thus, further proving that wearing a “mask” can be…show more content…
American author and feminist spokesperson Naomi Wolf said that “in terms of how we (women) feel about ourselves physically, we may actually be worse off than out unliberated grandmothers”. In making this comment, Naomi Wolf argues that there is a problem that modern women are facing today, which is the beauty myth. The beauty myth is society’s way of teaching woman to measure their worth based on their physical appearance. In order to increase their worth women will change their physical appearance or we can say put on a different ‘mask’. Society has created demands that women should have flawless faces, big eyes, hourglass bodies or slim figures for them to be labelled as beautiful and desirable. “Powerful industries- the $33 billion-a-year diet industry, the $20 billion cosmetics industry, the $300-million cosmetic surgery industry” is what Naomi Wolf discovered in her research which shows that women are going through extreme body altering procedures such as extreme weight loss diets, plastic surgeries and makeups to become what society calls “beautiful” . These procedures are not only dangerous but they can be seen as “masks” that women wear to comply with society’s unreal expectations. In addition, society has also affected men, making them desire the ‘perfect’ women that society projects. This shows that putting on a mask can be unhealthy to both genders and to the society that we live

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