The mask, an object previously used only by health professionals. Now we are all required to wear it.
In some situations we even judge people by saying that they wear masks, meaning that they are not authentic. And now, faced with this situation, we even play, I will put my mask on, I will take my mask off. Because we know that we hide internal content, it’s never us all the time. And this has a history, we are taught how to behave in different environments, we are one person in front of our family, we are someone else in the workplace, we assume another way of being with our friends, and very different ways of being with strangers. But we were never taught to wear real masks, the ones that are covering us and preventing us from breathing. It is a torture to go out into the streets and not to be able to breathe freely outdoors anymore.
At first, when wearing the mask, we did not have a good experience (not that we do nowadays but we are getting used to it), but the feeling of suffocation is real, leading us to feel a certain panic in this situation. But as this demand was imposed on us, to protect ourselves and the others, we want to get out of the ordinary, because there is a need in us to identify with what we use – so we stop using the white mask, and the mask makers captured the idea and embellish our face.
Our mouth is hidden, for women the lipstick now doesn’t make sense anymore. As for men, what is going on? It seems that now we need to seek the eyes of the other. I’ve heard that the eyes are the windows to the soul, but now the other’s gaze has become our mirror. How are we being perceived? And what do we want to show? The mouth that can show our expression is now covered. And the mask options come to complement our outfit, revealing our tastes like: smiles, skulls, dogs, cats, and even clown faces… This was given to us as a safe enforcement, now we have a new way of expressing what we like.
Before the pandemic we didn’t always walk with our smile on or with our pets. What mask do I want to wear? What do I want to reveal? At this point, we still have more questions than answers. We are growing together trying to comprehend all this and building our thoughts and understanding about this period that will go down in history like others that have already existed related to health.
Lia Ergas Aguilera, Psychologist graduated em 1991, Londrina-PR, Brazil. Works at em psychology clinics since 1992. From 2001 to 2007 lived in London. As soon as she returned to Brazil, she dedicated herself to clinical psychology, attending adults, teenagers, and parenting orientation.
2013 Specialization in Psychology Clinic residence, Psicanalitical approaching.
2019 Post-graduation em Neuropsychology – in progress.
Translation by Talita Cruz – Dialogue Method Scholl/Brazil