Everything began with Halloween 2015, when I decided to be GOLD. This was before every single insta-famous makeup chick began using "Be Gold" as a caption to her 1593rd selfy.

                To the question "Who are you?" I threw a sassy response: "I am GOLD. I bring out the best and the worst in people. Everyone wants me, but very few can get me." Not only did every single cell of my body look elegant, sexual, fabulous and desirable, but my personality transformed into GOLD. I acted as if I had been defecating on 18K golden toilet and eating black caviar for breakfast my whole life. I was soaked in self-worth, confidence and self-admiration, looking highly at everyone through my heart shaped sunglasses. In fact, not even looking at anyone. Nobody was good enough to lay my golden eyes upon.

             I was the scariest Halloween monster. 

             Something that began as a silly playful joke, turned into an involuntary two-day social experiment consisting of an in-depth observation of human perception.

             Humans have always been attracted to those who show supremacy. Although these days the understanding of supremacy seems to be mutated and lost. Everything that shines is gold. People are too busy, too lazy, too distracted, too insecure, too drunk, too high or uneducated to segregate foil from real gold. This explains why we worship talent- lacking, cocaine sucking, like squirrels eternally caged in a corporate wheel, celebrities. We buy SUPREME and Yeezy shoes to gain artificial supremacy, not because we like them... victims of marketing. We get lip implants at the age of 18 and put more layers of paint on our faces than Rembrandt put on his, because these days it's easy to trick people and earn attention by faking. Fashion and beauty are powerful self-expressive and manipulative tools indeed, but they have become attention-seeking coatings for the myriads of neglected insecurities and unsolved anxieties. 

            It's simply perception and nothing else. I experienced the power and depth of this artificial facade on my own skin covered in cheap golden body paint.

 

           I've always been a hyper active child, the kind that would brake, burn, torture, hide things just to see the results and reactions of people. Being in the center of attention was never my concern. I was charismatic and enthusiastic enough to get it without trying, in fact, attention was irritative to me most of time. When I moved to the USA at the age of 14, I received 0 attention from my busy family or school mates for the first two years.. I was a ghost, conveniently, because I had a serious psychological trauma to deal with, caused by the immigration. I was still interesting to people, something about my energy, I guess, but the constant resting bitch face was intimidating for the 99%, so very few dared to approach me, but those who did became true friends. 

 

           In October, 2015 I was a Senior at MassArt. Still somewhat quite, insecure, constantly questioning my sanity, until I decided to be Gold for Halloween.  I accessed the good old little fearless diva-macho child, that was waiting for her moment in the corner of my consciousness. I put on a pencil skirt, used a golden scarf as a shirt, painted my body in gold, put a pair of high heels on and 10$ heart shaped sunglasses, couple shots of vodka and I was ready to shine. 

            On Friday  I went to a MassArt party in JP, Boston. Among the outstanding creative characters were Basquiat, a shaman, the internet, many dead and alive hoes etc. The vibe was chill. Everybody was getting rapidly intoxicated. There was music, drugs, laughter, friends, strangers... a casual party. The only difference was that I wasn't I. I was GOLD. Usually at parties, I'd only be approached by those who I already knew. Usually.... EVERYBODY wanted to talk to the GOLD chick that night. The only thought that I had the entire time at the party- until my brain turned into a vodka infused washing machine and was unable to think at all- was "You don't notice me when I am my nice, respectful and genuine self. Now that I'm acting like a bitch, out of sudden, you want to know more?" 

           This made me question everyone's superiority. How many of those who we look up to are actually worth looking up to? How many of them have invented fake alter-egos to escape their boring selves and gain attention? How many of the fashionistas copy their style from celebrities and blogs? How many of nirvana faced insta-models with 940K followers have actually stepped down into the internal abyss and faced their dark nature? How many of the tough looking muscle addict gym rats have a real mental strength? How many contemporary artists can draw a proportional scull or human body from their minds without models?  There is nothing superior about those who mask their true nature instead of understanding it and liberating it. 

            On Saturday, I went to one of Harvard's invite only "secret" parties in a literal castle full of antique rugs, leather furnishings, 17th century cup cabinets, a library with old and new books and  obviously a full bar. I was surrounded by some truly interesting, humorous and creative writers, artists, philosophers, musicians etc. I was in a GOLD outfit again, but I wasn't able to integrate into my gold character. I was surrounded by so many truly strong and outstanding personalities, that it became impossible for me to pretend to be something I was not. "You can fool the amateur, but you can't fool the player" as they say, and I was in a room full of serious players, with shark noses for bullshit. 

 

                I brought the GOLD back a few more times throughout that year for fun and observatory purposes. For graduation in May 2016 I spray painted my cap and gown in gold and walked on stage in front of hundreds of people to make sure no one forgets me. That was more of a self dare and attack on my own comfort zone. Later I pulled another self-centered outfit with Hermes belt choker for a street wear event, just for irony's sake. 

Masha Keryan