what is authenticity, anyway?

authentic jeans

Philosophically, authenticity is the degree to which one is true to their own personality, spirit, or character, despite external pressures.

I, personally, am in love with this word. The concept of authenticity is something I’ve recently delved deeply into and strive for in my interactions (it’s a journey I have not yet mastered, that’s for sure). I’ve read, though, about those who are skeptical of the concept…those who are frustrated by celebrities, leaders and politicians claiming to be authentic.

Is authenticity a buzzword, devoid of meaning? Is it something innate or can you become it? If you aren’t living an authentic life, what circumstances give you the desire for it? Is Coco Chanel right in saying, “Hard times arouse an instinct desire for authenticity?”

What does authenticity mean to you?


Photo credit: Ara Pehlivanian / Foter / CC BY-NC

8 Comments on “what is authenticity, anyway?
  1. I think the word is packed with awareness. I strive to be authentic also. But, it really is about always being aware of who you are, who you are being and how you are showing up. Not saying that you put on a facade. But just honestly looking at what you bring and whether it is from your heart and intention.


    **posting from UBC**

  2. Hello there,
    You know authenticity is so important if you are going to be real with others. People often have masks and don’t show their real selves because they want to hide what is underneath. This is sad, because most people are generally nice and if you let yourself show, you will most likely shine instead of just showing a part of you.

    Thank You

    Lisa M

  3. I think the word authentic is in danger of being hijacked through over use. To me it means really knowing what you want in any given moment, expressing that so others really feel you and living your life in a truthful way. For me, it’s all about being truthful. You become more authentic the more you tell the truth about yourself and drop the worries about what others think.

  4. Hi Erin. Very profound and thought provoking topic. I love that you finished with a question which has generated discussion. Authenticity to me is being genuine to the self. It’s about living life with strength and not letting others define you.

  5. Morning Erin – in the hippie days, the term was “keep it real”…what came to me as I read your lines was “face value”….what you see, what you experience, needs to be the REAL me….and of course I like that my last name resides within that word….being a “performer” it’s very easy to slide that persona off the stage and into the rest of my life. But as much as I might want it to be, life is NOT a song, and living is more than breathing in and out….so if you want a relationship with me – keep it real….

    • Hi Keith, I often say I think I was a hippie in a former life. You bring such an interesting perspective as a performer. I’ve always thought of you as the real deal. Thanks for being you.

  6. I use Certificates of Authenticity on my original mosaic works when they sell. People really like having that piece of paper that says what they own is genuine and authentic. In that respect, it’s a good thing to remember to “keep it real” for me. Visiting from Ultimate Blog Challenge on FB!

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