This approach — it doesn’t matter if it’s shackled together with zip ties as long as it looks good — is symptomatic of so many aspects of our society, not just construction. We’re constantly selling our lives too, on social media and in person.
Looking good trumps feeling good. Performing for the camera on family holidays and excursions shows off what a perfect family you have, never mind whether you’re actually happy. Performing toxic masculinity means you don’t have to admit to the weaknesses of insecurity and uncertainty.
And we even pretend to ourselves as a survival mechanism for capitalism. Buying a cute zippy car makes the soul-sucking commute in bumper to bumper traffic feel not so bad. Looking like the best mom or coolest weekend jet-setter on Instagram masks self-doubt and dissatisfaction. We invest ourselves in the symbolic status we can achieve through performance, because we can’t fix the underlying problems.