If there is a moral that's always irked me to a degree, it's the everpresent "Be yourself" moral. Although, perhaps, it might be more accurate to say that it's more of how it's casually applied in American media and social circles from my experience. It's an inherently flawed concept given the implications that often come bundled with it. For starters, it's often delivered in a context that seems to imply that changing or improving oneself is something to be ignored and disregarded, because it's not "you". To a point, I can understand where they're coming from in that regard. Often, this moral is delivered in a context where a character tries to change their outlook, appearance, and whatnot in such a drastic manner to appease someone else or society in general. But then, one has to acknowledge that change is inevitable and often necessary, so as to improve ourselves as a whole. So if you consider the heavy emphasis on the "be yourself" moral in that context, it becomes a disturbing self-justification leading to a cognitive bias along the lines of "Well, I'm good just the way I am, so change is not an option." On that topic, there's also the disturbing "justification" it can bring in regards to jerks, assholes, xenophobes, and monsters-all of whom are just "being themselves" if you wish to apply such logic. And those people definitely shouldn't be themselves, if you get me.
The other major reason I hate how this moral is often applied is that, to be honest, it's pretty damn unrealistic. One of the saddest and harshest truths in reality is that, unless you're a somebody, society doesn't give a crap who you are unless you can provide something for them. They don't care if you're quirky or nice, just that you can deliver their pizzas or perform heart surgery. And even then, to a degree, you have to be like the group just to survive. Of course, that carries its own disturbing implications. After all, what if that group is a bunch of racist pigs or overzealous nutjobs? There's also the anti-individual message it carries. We're not ants. We have a right to our individual thoughts and expressions. It's just that it's a complicated matter where individual vs. group affairs are common. Be yourself and not be like the others and you could gain the ability to develop meaningful relationships...or risk becoming a total pariah no one likes. Defy social conventions and you could be an upstanding individual...or be crippled with an inferiority complex because you don't match the desired criteria. Be seen as a winner of principles and confidence, or as a loser of unpleasant qualities. It's a tough call and the results are never the same every time. That's what makes the application of the moral in American society even more problematic. Hell, for all my criticisms and gripes about how I hate the stereotypical expectations of what it means to be a "real man", I do have periods where I feel so damn inadequate for not meeting them. And let's be honest, I don't think being myself has really done me any favors in most cases.
But of course, society is changing, just as we all will. In many ways, it's becoming more fair and accepting of individuals that differ from the (perceived) majority. Though we still have a ways to go, bullcrap viewpoints and prejudices like homophobia and xenophobia are being challenged and addressed. We're growing here, even with the many obstacles still there. So this group vs. individual element, while still there, may lessen over time as people become more like who they are and groups welcome them in. And I'm sure the "Be yourself" moral isn't gonna go away. But hopefully, its application will be improved upon.
Then again, maybe I'm just not the greatest person to approach this.