The article “Now I Become Myself” by Parker Palmer, I couldn’t help but make a connection to a few commercials I had recently watched. Palmer discusses how people should use their God-given talents to help others in order to fulfill their personal happiness. However, many people do not know “who they are” until the second half of their life. Palmer asserts that the first half of our lives we wear metaphorical “masks” that hide the real us, in order to please other people. For example, the commercials I watched comment on pre-market discrimination, specifically sexism. Take a look…
Palmer believes these masks are futile, and that, “Faking it, in the service of high values, is no virtue and has nothing to do with vocation. It is an ignorant, sometimes arrogant, attempt to override one’s nature, and it will always fail.”
After watching these commercials, I’m not sure if Palmer is being realistic. While I hope every young girl discovers if she wants to be a scientist, engineer, or mathematician, I think the masks society forces them to wear from such an early age may become permanent. They may never realize that they liked getting dirty and experimenting, like “one of the guys.”
I do think we are at a crossroads. Commercials like these, and even a few Pantene commercials celebrate girls’ and womens’ strengths and comment on the double-standards, insults, or stereotypes that females must deal with.
Palmer may think that the masks girls put on will “wear off,” but according to the statistics these masks seem pretty permanent past 4th grade. But that is why programs like STEM are so beneficial. They encourage girls to take off those masks and follow THEIR dreams, not their parents’ or teachers’.