Public vs Private Faces

I remember a while back, ok when I was a child, I watched Sushmita Sen win the Miss Universe pageant in 1994. She was Miss India and an absolutely stunning girl who seemed to be extremely intelligent as well as astonishingly beautiful. And I’ll never forget this one thing she said in the interview section. She said that we all have to have a private and public face. That we present to the public a face of strength but we need to keep a private face for ourselves. I thought to myself at the time, I suppose that it’s true for a celebrity. For the rest of us having two faces is quite unnecessary and rather deceptive. However the older I’ve become, the more I’ve come to realise what this really means. And the more I realise that we all have to do it to keep our sanity.

Society expects a lot from us. We are all expected to behave in certain ways, we are meant to fall into particular boxes so we can fulfill the roles that this regimented world has mapped out for us; based on gender, ethnicity, sexuality, socio-economic groups. In order to survive we have to put up a public face so we can deal with the role that we have been assigned in this life.

All of us go through the day fronting, despite whatever mood we may have woken up with, we don’t want to rock the boat. In order to keep other peoples feelings in mind we only ever project a stable strong facade so not to make anyone feel uncomfortable. We allow people to get away with making horribly inaccurate and sometimes completely untrue statements so not as to ruffle any feathers. We go along with the popular masses because at the end of the day it’s easier for other people if we just shut up and go about our business.

I’ve always subscribed to this. In fact, I’ve always been one to champion the benefits of keeping social order and social niceties to keep everyone happy. I’ve always kept my private face, just that, exactly private. I have a plethora of friends in this life, in fact I would go as far as saying that I’m a really popular individual. Anyone who gets to know my public face I would challenge to not like it after spending time with me. But recently I just haven’t been able to keep my private face from rearing itself to others. And it’s because I’m getting tired of compromising myself to protect other peoples feelings.

In fact I’m at a point now where peoples ignorance and indifference to issues is really starting to grate at me. People who I’ve met here in Korea don’t know the real me. In fact a lot of people at home don’t know the real me. Only a couple of people know my private face. I’ve revealed myself to a small few who know exactly why my behaviour has been so erratic lately. (If they were around me they’d try to support me, not silence me like others here have tried recently) It’s because I can’t stand intolerance, I can’t stand prejudice, and I can’t stand people who try to tell me to ignore something that hurts me.

I’ve never considered myself compact enough to fit into anyones box. And the more that we allow people to be who they are; free of discrimination and expectation of what society wants them to be, perhaps there would be less conflict in this world,

So really this blog entry serves as a digging my heels in of sorts. My private face has at times been my public face, And if people realised how dangerous I can be, they would probably be a little less inclined to try and silence me. Theres nothing more I like than when people underestimate what I’m capable of. In NZ I wasn’t ever a radical, but I was always an activist. It’s in my nature to stand up for what’s right. Because at the end of the day, what my public face does, my private face has to deal with at night.


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