The Duality of this American Life

4 min readAug 13, 2021

For a country that so values itself on individuality, how have we become so…fake?

photo by Aaron Burden

I have been thinking a lot about fragmentation. I have been thinking about how much of modern American life is based on artifice. Pretending to love that corporate job on Linkedin… when your conversations with friends are about how much you hate it. A social media presence that makes your family look so perfect and happy, when your house could double for an episode of Hoarders and the relationship is strained. A Fortune 500 company that publicizes their commitment to diversity and inclusion, yet internally keeps up with the same patriarchal tactics while throwing a few “diversity hires” at the problem. A pastor who talks about an openness to embrace change and take on tough subjects, while silencing abuse victims and avoiding tough conversations.

America… looks good on paper. But, our references need to be checked or better yet, back channeled. For a country so passionate about individuality, so many of us live lives firmly entrenched in duality. We are like the photo of a sunkissed, WASPy family in a field hiding dad’s drinking problem and mom’s affair with the neighbor. Behind our gleaming smiles are firmly-clenched teeth…

photo by Jonathan Hoxmark

What’s ironic however, is that we see this issue in everyone but ourselves. We cry out against politicians who lead secret lives — while we lead secret lives. It may not be as juicy as a major sex scandal and a drug habit, but it often looks like playing the part of perfect when we feel anything but. No wonder the mental health crisis is out of control here. No one feels the agency to simply be normal. We are terrified of being found out. “What will people think?”

Instead of encouraging openness with our feelings, we hawk supplements and new ways to biohack your life. It’s as if we think you can buy your way out of tough feelings and childhood trauma. (To be honest, most Americans probably do think that.)

We write and read article after article about how to grow your business 10x in 2 months! How to hustle harder! Produce more! Lose weight faster! Build muscle! Be the BEST at self care! Master…


@Tatiana pretty much everywhere. I see you. Early adopter. Later regretter. // Marketer, Musician, Motivation // Coach/ Consultant: