No. 147 - From the shoot with Beatriz Kaye and Allison Theresa - Photo by Adrian Moens - Issue No. 7

December 19th, 2019

Interviewers: One last question: What does it look like to take off one's mask and step into authenticity? However you define it.

Beatriz: That's such a good question, because I feel like part of the mask on mask off situation is influenced by who you're surrounded by. For instance, I couldn't take a mask off until I could figure out who was constant and stable within my friend group, and within the audience of those who are reading my work. Once that was stabilized I was able to say to myself, Okay: I didn't give a fuck before, but now I really don't give a fuck.

Allison: Emboldened.

Beatriz: It's one of those things where I've always thought that I was being authentic, but I've reached these higher levels and I've realized . . . wow, I was just playing a role before.

Allison: I feel like stepping into authenticity is about trying on a lot of different masks and seeing what stays constant behind them. That's been my journey to authenticity, which I think I'm still working through: trying on all of the different masks that are available to me, and then also realizing that the mask is not required.

I think stepping into authenticity deals with learning to stop looking for external validation and to start finding that from within. And it's so clichéd to put it that way, but it's true. And it's the most difficult task. It's difficult to create an internal value system; one that's not just copied and pasted from my Catholic upbringing, or from my parents, or from what I learned in school, or wherever.

It's much more difficult to create a value system that resonates deeply within me, and touches on the aspects of life that are difficult to understand, just in thinking about the darkness and the light that's inside all of us. So I think taking the mask off is about articulating for yourself what is valuable, and then behaving in that way, and choosing things that align with your values.

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