On slate.com there’s an interesting article analyzing Beyonce’s alter ego, Sasha Fierce, and how she uses it to draw a line between her real self and her identity as a performer. The gist of the article, as I interpreted it, is that her use of an alter ego is somehow flawed and creates a sense of alienation between Beyonce and herself. This line of thinking is clearly speculative, as Weiner alludes to artists such as Old Dirty Bastard and Kurt Cobain, who both suffered dire consequences due to their inability to reconcile themselves personally versus their performer selves.
Perhaps Weiner is right. It can be quite a struggle to contain who you are as a person within the scope of being a mega celebrity. His article got me thinking about how in everyday life, people have to struggle to balance the different sides of themselves. Who you are at the office is different than who you are with your friends, which is different that who you are with your parents, and so on. This struggle exists for each of us on several levels every single day of our lives.
The use of alter egos help us cope. It doesn’t make you fake, or insincere. Sometimes you have to put on those different hats, play the game, and give people what they expect from you in order to get by. Not meaning that you have to sell yourself out, because you should always stay true to who you are. But when it comes down to it, you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes to make it through the day. That’s life game 101.
So play on, Beyonce, Sasha Fierce, or whatever you want to call yourself. The formula has obviously been working, so you’re doing something right.