Three dissonant shirts

A woman walks past in a mass produced T-shirt that reads “Dare to be Different.”

Another – with a red and angry face – is decked out in a purple shirt with the word LOVE in enormous letters.

A third on the bus, whose “Choose Cheerful” shirt does not make her smile.

This is not to denigrate the women wearing these, but simply to point out that the constant pressure to “be positive”, “keep calm and carry on”, “keep smiling” is a way of normalising the unbearable in a way that can make it worse. the impact of what might be called “compulsory happiness” regimes in workplaces creates a tension between outward appearance and inward feeling that destroys people’s souls.

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