Social desirability is something that each of us swear by. We go to great lengths to be accepted by other social beings. It is almost like people are driven by the need to be loved and accepted by others. Our activities, opinions and how we behave, are pivoted in a manner that we are more acceptable to people. In the pursuit of being ‘socially acceptable,’ we kind of lose ourselves. We are enslaved by our thoughts that push us to become more ‘socially acceptable’.
Societal norms are necessary but not to the extent that they snatch our real selves and force us to masquerade by putting on different masks, as and when required. Can we not, in any way shake that hesitation off and do and support things that we believe in? In times of crisis, why do we always swear by what the society says or thinks? When we are in a dilemma why can’t we follow what our heart tells us to do? Why do we always give preference to the society and not ourselves?
I feel all living beings have a passive rebel in them who wish to get past the “log kya kahenge” (what will people say) thought and do what they feel like.
A basic feeling that is ingrained in us when we are kids are the concepts of ‘good’ and ‘bad’. It becomes an issue when the same concepts are used to get children to conform to certain notions. This conditioning gets us to think really hard later in life when we want to do something that is not conventional. More often that not, we give in to the society’s demands and not do things the way we want to.
So, basically what we do is we put on different masks on our faces and change it whenever required. How convenient does that sound? In a world like this, we do not have a choice but to pretend all the time. We are too terrified to even think of the repercussions that would come from having a bad reputation.
So, year after year, generation after generation we all learn to be puppets of the master which is the society and be controlled by its archaic norms. We cannot in any way play the blame game here, sad, isn’t it? When we belong to the society ourselves, who do we blame? It all comes back to us. We make the society, don’t we?
We don’t do a lot of things because “log kya kahenge”. So many people choose not to express their sexual orientation because “log kya kahenge”, a parent not wanting to educate her daughter and get her married instead because “log kya kahenge”, a wife cannot earn more than her husband because “log kya kahenge”, nobody can ever fail in anything because “log kya kahenge” and the list goes on.
Let’s take a moment to think of life as a beautiful gift that’s given to us, and we can only live it once, so why not live it on our own terms? We should at least try and be ourselves. We should be the one to decide who we want to be and not think about “log kya sochenge”.
I refuse to live in fear, I refuse to put the mask on. I am ‘me’, and I will be ‘me’ and I feel choices should be respected so that emotional burden could be avoided and I could be at peace with myself.
I say, shun the mask, shun the drama and celebrate being you, the real you.