Get Out vs. Breakfast at Tiffany's (Phony Persona Edition)

This is how I spent my weekend - I’m still digesting the juxtaposition. Here are two movies that each have a finger on the theme of phony identity, and that's pretty much all they have in common.

I think there's some accuracy to the perspective of the black protagonist in Get Out. I can't say for sure, because I'm pretty white. Very White. White as **** (thank you, Moneypenny, for always answering the awkward questions honestly). See the movie; it's really well done. Especially if you identify as white you should watch this movie. Go ahead and get mad about it, or see the brilliance.

If you haven't seen Breakfast at Tiffany's, any spoiling done here is not my problem. The thing you need to know is this quote:  
"She's a phony, but she's a real phony."
I love that line. Holly is no longer fulfilling her birthright.

Holly Golightly, for reasons not explained in the movie, saw a need to be something different from the persona she was given at birth and acted on it. She changed her persona intentionally. Some people find her to be unreliable, and some find her refreshing. The author who pursues her is plagued throughout the film by an identity crisis perpetuated by Ms. Golightly. He has to switch identities to achieve goals. He ultimately gives up one - that of a kept lover - after stealing Halloween masks out of a dime store with Holly.  The mask, for him, becomes associated with his accomplice and he doesn't like his lover wearing it..

We often meet people we suspect are phony. Some are psychopaths, and should be avoided. Some have chosen to put on masks - public faces - to achieve goals or to protect themselves. We can only guess whether they have different, real, faces they wear privately or whether the one we see has been transmuted. Maybe they wear different masks at home whilst hiding from themselves.

A person may be on a path of self-discovery, trying on outfits as it were. That's my take on Holly Golightly: I think her motivation was to find where her true self fit despite the caste of her birth.

Do we deserve to know the motivation of someone with a phony identity? Are we being defensive to question? Ask yourself the real question:  how does knowing someone else's answer serve you? Why do you need to know?

Instead of digging into the veracity of someone's public persona, spend your time figuring out whether there is potential danger for you. Then take a break, and go check to see if your mask is on straight.

Be safe, but be open to a new perspective.


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