Baring Your Soul -- And Much, Much More
People in glass houses shouldn't, well, they shouldn't do a lot of things. Take it from Daniela Tobar, a 21-year-old actress in Santiago, Chile who's spending two weeks in an 8-foot by 8-foot glass-enclosed building while people watch her go about her life. I suspect throwing stones is the least of her worries. Guys drooling on the windows is probably one of the most.Daniela has been eating, sleeping, cleaning, going to the bathroom -- everything you'd do in a normal day -- in front of anyone who feels like standing on the sidewalk watching. It's much like the windows that look into the studio of The Today Show except no one's holding up signs saying "Hi" to their family in Moose Butt, Minnesota and luckily Al Roker keeps his clothes on.The glass house experiment is the brainchild of architect Arturo "Who Doesn't Want To See A Babe Nude?" Torres. It's designed to see how fast men get yanked away by their wives. Just kidding. Actually no guy in his right mind would stop to watch this if his wife was tagging along. According to Torres it's supposed to gauge how people feel about a person's right to privacy. Uh-huh.Personally, I wouldn't want people to see my more intimate habits. There's a reason personal privacy is called that. It's not like I have disgusting habits -- not in my mind, anyway -- but like most people, I do things when I'm alone that I don't want others to see. It's not that they embarrass me, it's that the very act of other people knowing about them makes me self-consciously aware of them and that makes them seem less honest. Kind of an "I'm O.K. As Long As You Don't Know How Weird I Am" sort of thing. Face it, I really have no desire to stop and analyze why I often wear a hat when I write and why its ability to make me write better wears off after a while, meaning I have to constantly be on the lookout for new, effective Writing Hats. It just is, it works, and that's all I need to know.Think about it, don't you get grossed out when you're stopped at a traffic light and you look over to see the driver in the next car picking his or her nose, as if a car with 360-degree windows somehow affords privacy? And admit it, you're not nearly as grossed out by what they're doing as you are knowing how many times you've done the same thing. Now think about poor Daniela clipping her toenails, popping pimples on her nose, and going to the bathroom. You can date a woman for years before seeing these things, yet Daniela's doing them in front of people the very first time they lay eyes on her.This is pretty brave of her considering most people have a hard time going out of the house if they're having a bad hair day, better yet have strangers watch them wipe themselves. A study done at Yale University (motto: "The Other Harvard") showed that people felt less smart, less capable, more embarrassed and less sociable on a bad hair day, which was defined as any time their hair stuck out, was messy, was badly cut, or otherwise required a hat so as not to look like Albert Einstein when he woke up in the morning. Or went to sleep at night. Or anytime in between.It's not surprising that people are interested in watching Daniela go about her daily life. And not just for the reasons you're snickering about. After all, Real World continues to get good ratings on MTV after eight seasons despite the fact that their world is hardly real, what with 33 camera, sound, light, makeup, and cue card people hovering over them 24-hours a day. And live webcams on the Internet have become big business, proving that people will pay good money to watch others sleep, eat, and not have the wild sex one hoped they would have. Get used to it, voyeurism is the Rubik's Cube of the 00s. But at least Daniela isn't charging money, which is probably because they're doing this in Chile rather than the United States, where it would be sponsored by Windex. But that's not to say Daniela may not make a few bucks off this. Remember, people have launched careers based on a lot less (see: Monica Lewinsky, Mahir the Turkish Lover, Paulie Shore, etc). For starters she might consider letting the glass house go completely to pot in the hopes that she'll win Ace Hardware's America's Messiest Room Contest. After all, it doesn't say North America. Or she could submit video footage of her to Ed McMahon's new website, www.nextbigstar.com, so she could become the next Sinbad. Or Sawyer Brown. Or Mrs. McMahon.But chances are Daniela's in her glass house because she believes in it. Even so, I suspect that when it's over she'll walk out, do her best Chilean Greta Garbo imitation saying, "I vant to be left alone", and lock herself behind some steel doors for a while. Personally, I'm going to miss seeing her floss her teeth and eat that piece of popcorn that was stuck between them.