NROP: The hidden faces of masked celebrities – a personal tale.

Disclaimer: By no means do I consider myself a celebrity. It is just how the title worked out.

I have been meaning to write this post for a couple of weeks now, but I would find something I was more passionate about, and so I wrote about that instead. However, more and more people question my reasoning for a hidden identity, plus, I saw a post about masks and mental health in my Reader this morning. I took all of that as a sign and so I came to a conclusion that now is a great time to share this piece with you.

A little over a month ago, while driving home from work, I saw a billboard advertising “The Masked Singer”. “Coming soon” the poster said. My first thought was “another Sia”. For those of you who do not who Sia is – she is an Australian singer, songwriter (and much more) , who performs with her face covered. Usually her identity is hidden by a wig, a hairpiece, or headgear. That has not always been the case for her. Even though she has been making music since the late 90s, she started hiding her face in the year of 2010, after a fan walked up to her and asked her for a photo, while Sia’s friend was telling the artist about her cancer diagnosis. We have seen her face since. We know who she is now. But for a moment, everyone was trying to figure out who she was. I think that a big part of her success is the hidden identity. If you would like to read about Sia’s reasons for keeping her face hidden, click here.

Before seeing the advertisement for “The Masked Singer”, I also came across “The Festival” – a British comedy, in which two guys go to a musical festival because one of them needs to forget about his ex-girlfriend, while the other one wants to meet his hero – DJ Hammerhead. The EDM superstar wears a … you guessed it! – a hammerhead shark mask. Yes, the fan gets to meet his guru, gets to know his identity, and then gets to wear the mask himself during an impromptu performance.

I have to admit that it was rather peculiar to me to watch a movie with a masked artist and then see a billboard with … a masked artist. I thought that the whole hidden identity thing was over and done with since Sia’s face had been revealed. Apparently not.

It was my intention to look up “The Masked Singer”, but somehow it slipped my mind until a couple of weeks later, I stumbled upon an article in the news about it. It turned out that “The Masked Singer” was not a single performer, but a TV show with 12 masked artists. How does it work? It started off with 12 celebrities, whose identities are obscured by a full on costume (mask and outfit). As of today, we are down to 6 competitors left. During each episode, different participants are paired in “sing offs”, and are judged by a panel of judges. Some singers are labeled as “safe” after their performances, while others are at risk of elimination. The objective of this show is for the judges and the viewers to figure out who is hiding behind the mask. Every episode ends with one artist being eliminated, and therefore – having to take their mask off and reveal their identity. The competitors include(ed): Alien, Bee, Lion, Monster, Peacock, Rabbit, Raven, Unicorn, Poodle, Deer, Pineapple, Hippo.

For research purposes, of course, I have watched one of the episodes. My opinion is that it is utterly ridiculous. It is a singing competition in which celebrities, who are not professional singers (at least those who have been revealed so far) perform to impress the judges and the audience. I am not sure what the prize is. Maybe it is all just about having fun and promoting one self. I am not sure. A second season has already been announced, which means that this show is popular enough. This show is the American response to the Korean “The King of Mask Singer”, which starred Ryan Reynolds, as I find out.

It seems to me like in order to get more Likes, more views, more subscribers, etc., one has to let the audience learn everything about them – what they look like, what they eat, what their workout routine is, etc. I have been told that people have to relate, and a person revealing a lot about themselves is more personable. Even though that is not what speaks to me, I understand that it does work for many people.

Like Sia, privacy is an important thing to me. I want to be able to go out in public without being seen as “Goldie”. I like being multidimensional.

When I chose anonymity, it was not my desire to create intrigue and have people speculate about my identity. However, I must admit that it is a fun byproduct, and it tickles my fancy when various people argue about who I am.

The main reason behind me being as minimalistic as can be is to avoid any sort of prejudice. As you well know, I blog about various things that are often seen as controversial. I keep a mask on not because I am afraid to speak up. It is because I want people to see/ hear what I write and not be able to use my looks to justify their perception of things. In the outside world, I have often heard: “Well, of course you think that because you are x, y and z”, or “You have no idea about this, because you are not x, y, and z”.

Whether we like it or not, we all judge one another. I am not trying to argue that we should not do that. In fact, I think there are instances in correctly assessing a person can be beneficial. However, in today’s tumultuous world, I feel like there should be more objective conversation, without unnecessary assumptions.

While I do hide some outside traits of mine, I am more than revealing about my personality. Everyone seems to have an idea of who I am, or whom I am not. I do not plan to confirm, or deny anything, because while people might think that I say x, y, z because I am a, b, c, they do not know that for sure. It is my hope that it makes you curious, dear Reader. Not necessarily curious about my identity, but about the message behind the words. Maybe, next time you talk to a stranger you will listen to what they have to say, instead of looking at them for justification of what they are saying.

Have you seen “The Masked Singer”?

Why do you think celebrities hide their identities?

How revealing are you online?

What do you think about me trying to hold onto my “mask”?

Do you ever wear a mask? If so, what is your reasoning behind it?

Stay golden,

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48 thoughts on “NROP: The hidden faces of masked celebrities – a personal tale.

Add yours

  1. Interesting post… and something I’ve never thought about before. I can see why some people may want to hide their identity behind a mask, but I think that trying to converse with someone wearing a mask would be very difficult. Without seeing expressions you are totally reliant on the tone and timbre of the voice. Your personality comes through very strongly in your writing so you’ve only got half a mask!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You bring up an interesting point regarding conversing with someone wearing a mask. So much of our “listening” comprises of body language (including facial expressions).

      I’m glad to hear that my personality does shine through my writing.

      Like

  2. Q. Have you seen “The Masked Singer”?

    A. No, never heard of it until today.

    Q. Why do you think celebrities hide their identities?

    A. In the show? Because that is the premise. In real life? Because that is the only freedom they have left.

    Q. How revealing are you online?

    A. Hopefully not too much.

    Q. What do you think about me trying to hold onto my “mask”?

    A. To each their own. Like you, I hope my content can stand on its own.

    Q. Do you ever wear a mask? If so, what is your reasoning behind it?

    A. Protection, and freedom. What I write and talk about has the potential to ruin mine and my family’s lives.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I still get a kick out of hearing people say: “That’s the first time I heard about it.” I like flabbergasting others.

      Yes, your stuff definitely has the potential to hurt you, and that’s just absolutely terrible. It shouldn’t be that way. I understand that you meant freedom of speech when you listed freedom as a reason for wearing a mask, but don’t you think it’s a bit ironic? That we are happy with “freedom” (speaking our minds from behind the mask)?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Never heard of that singer.

    In my opinion they need something to distinguish them from the others.

    I don’t reveal my appearance here for my own safety. But I don’t hesitate to show myself to the friends I’ve got here.

    I always wanted to know you better. But never dared to ask your real name or pic. I was afraid that you’d tell me “no”.

    Yes I wear masks to show that I’m ok when I’m not.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’ve never heard the song entitled “Chandelier”, by Sia?

      I think the “ok, but not really” mask is so prevalent. We are encouraged to be ourselves. To release our thoughts and emotions. To talk about mental health, etc. And yet, people get judged and punished in all sorts of ways for not being all smiles and giggles all the time.

      Like

  4. I did see a commercial for this show but haven’t watched it yet. I watched very little TV so I doubt I’ll watch it, I write under a pen name so I totally understand. Privacy is super important to me, especially after reading about a few incidents where authors tracked down book reviewers to confront them personally. That really gave me the chills!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. People are surprised to hear I don’t own a TV set, but why would I have something I don’t use? Plus, you can use your computer to watch almost anything, too.

      I haven’t heard of those incidents, but they don’t surprise me. Scary indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

            1. You have come to the wrong person. I don’t really do podcasts. They just don’t speak to me. Or maybe I don’t like wasting my time on listening to things, while I have so many other things to do. Many people multitask and listen to them while they do other stuff. I prefer to focus on what I’m doing in the moment. I’m not a big fan of YT, either. Again, seems like a waste of time in a way.
              But I still listen to the radio when in traffic.

              Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post! Very true that prejudices do sneak in to conversations. The very idea that so much information about ourselves is searchable leaves an uncomfortable margin for judgement in my opinion.
    My own privacy and anonymity has been blown out of the water, and I can only wonder what that means for any future endeavors.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Right? I thought it was just me. And funnily enough, I usually don’t go looking for things online about people I meet in real life (or online), but I know that’s the first think A LOT of people do. You get to know them through their social media, etc., and close the door on getting to know the REAL them.

      I wonder how she found you…

      Like

      1. There are browsers built to scrounge up personal information. Just enter the victims name and an email, and it reveals all of their social accounts, other emails they use, any work platforms (Uber, Post Mates, etc), and other fun stuff. She does this about every 6 months to me. I feel strongly this social media thing is going to be looked on a lot differently by our children. It’s the be all for my generation, but it brings depression and disconnection. It brings insecurity and much of it is just a replacement for the classic idiot box.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. I am known well for being honest to a fault. Sometimes, my truths really hurt when they come out, and sometimes they are railed against. I thought about closing my blog down, but what I’ve had to say is important enough that I need to let it keep getting read. Mask or not, I speak to be heard. I have always had a tickle in the back of my mind that wonders if something about my appearance or voice doesn’t throw people off when I speak.

            Liked by 1 person

  6. I have seen advertisements for this show, but I never watched it. I have fantasized about making another blog, where I would be completely anonymous, so that I could write about controversial topics without worrying about offending my regular readers.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Interesting. I can definitely understand.
      I started off with controversial topics. The creative writing and hashtag posts came later. I wonder sometimes if my opinion pieces hold me back, but I want to showcase all of me. Hence, the acronyms in the titles. Hopefully that way people who just want to read specific categories can do just that.
      You’re in a different boat, since you started off as a public figure. It would be difficult to transition to a different range of posts without upsetting some.

      Whatever you choose to do – best of luck! (And let me know if you do create a different one. I’d be curious.)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Telling your friend something so private in public area.
    I simply can’t understand that.
    And in all honesty, I also don’t understad why she hides.
    To me it seems more like a publicity stunt.

    A lot people are against the burka because of the anonymity factor.
    But I don’t see how a huge wig is different from that.

    I know my life would be easier if I didn’t look the way I look.
    Careerwise at least.
    In my field, people hardly ever take a young woman with a baby face serious.

    I am not a very private person.
    But I can hardly imagine that I am very interesting person to people.
    What would people do with the information about me anyway?

    I do respect the fact that you want to stay annonymous, but if too many people would do it, I would probably leave WordPress.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree. When I read that “reason” for her going anonymous I was surprised. It didn’t make much sense. I just thought that she over-reacted. But I did not think of the friend. You are absolutely right! Such serious conversations in public? And even so, she could have just said “Not now”. Well, I guess to each their own.

      You don’t want to know what people can do with info…

      Why would you leave WP if most people kept anonymous?

      Like

      1. I honestly don’t think that’s the actual reason behind but a nice cover up.
        People go all like “Awww”, but when we really think about it, she might have not thought the whole thing through.
        Or maybe I will always remain skeptical 😉

        What honestly can they do?
        There might be a few pictures of me on here which are not pornsite worthy.
        And I write about the general things in life. Something we all go through.
        Someone wants to ruin my career? How? I never seem to even stay in the same country.

        I like to know the person behind the blog.
        I don’t need to see video diaries, but age, gender, picture, which country they are from would be nice.
        Especially the latter, because you can not judge someone’s writing as much if English is not their first language.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Being skeptical is not such a bad thing. Usually, it just helps to prove I’m right.

          I’m glad you feel safe and I hope nothing like that ever happens to you.

          You’re right. Knowing where they’re from IS helpful. I’m…. from the US. There. I said it. Now you know so much more about me. Yikes!

          Like

  8. If it was my blog post that prompted you to publish, then I’m pleased. I can understand the attraction of keeping your identity hidden and the freedom it gives you to express yourself – I suppose it depends who and what our blogs are for. I haven’t seen “The Masked Singer” but now I’m kind of intrigued…

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I never knew of The Masked Singer until now…
    I understand the need for anonymity in your case, and if I could successfully write an anonymous blog, I would surely do it. I like how your mask gives you the liberty to express yourself, discuss controversial topics, and share your opinions fearlessly. It’s ironic that with a mask, you don’t need to hide, or feel ashamed of the things you stand for.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I was actually talking about ME. 😂
        I can’t run a successful blog while I remain anonymous. At least, I don’t think I can.
        I like to share the events I attend, experiences I have, new friends I meet, and what not on my blog. So, my open personality would give me away. People who know me might read a couple of my posts, and it wouldn’t take them long to figure out who I am.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your acceptance and encouragement.

      Some people like it when everything is revealed, while others like a bit of mystery. While I can definitely appreciate the first in some situations, the latter is exciting for sure.

      Liked by 2 people

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