"Be yourself," we tell our kids, as if they could be other than themselves, as if they ought to be ashamed for crafting a persona, as if they need equate artifice and playfulness to falsehood and treachery. Yet the choices we make in painting face (not "being yourself") admit the purest view of the personality. It’s by not "being yourself," that you are consequently "being yourself." How odd it is that we say "be yourself" to really mean "act natural," which is to say, "subdue the flourishes that make you stick out from the crowd," i.e. "don’t be yourself at all."
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