I first learned the word facade/façade in middle school. We were learning about French art and architecture. The teacher put a slide of a church on the overhead projector, one of those crude, cumbersome machines with sheer printouts. She explained that the church had a false front or a façade. I remember thnking to myself (I wasn’t vocal in my younger and more vulnerable years) “why not make something through and through? Why put up a facade?”

And as I entered high school I started to put on facades. I wanted to be the girl who played tennis or the girl who was smarter than everyone else or the girl got into an ivy league school. But none of those things were who I was or even who I am. When I went to college I adopted the “fu** it” attitude. I had no time for facades.

Upon coming to California, specifically to Los Angeles it was hard to find any one person who didn’t put up a facade to protect their image, their reputation, whomever they thought they wanted to be. Honestly, it’s an awful stereotype, but the two strains of people most likely to put up facades, I found, were actors and men who work in finance.

Facades are forgivable. In LA it’s all about selling your product, and for actors that product is themselves (not prostitution, get your mind out of the gutter).

However, facades are dangerous. Unlike French churches, people become their facades if they leave the mask on too long. It’s like putting Vaseline on your teeth in order to hold a smile. You look happy, but it’s painful. I hope at the end of the day, if you’re putting up a facade (if I ever put up a facade) that you like that person because some day, when you look in the mirror, you won’t be able to tell the difference.


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