"The notion of authenticity that emerged during the Enlightenment was a ‘close twin’ of moral autonomy. To think and act for oneself, and therefore to develop a truer, more authentic expression of the self, required one to be independent of the judgement of others. But in its modern, politicised form, authenticity has been institutionalised as a ‘social aspiration’ – something that people are expected to cultivate, and which therefore depends on validation by others. ‘[T]his new form of dependency, generated by the ethic of authenticity, has another name: narcissism’,"That's from an interesting piece at Spiked.
“Authenticity” has long troubled me. Once upon a time I thought the concept morally useless. I'd no longer say that. I think that it has a place but that it is of limited use. It is one of a number of concepts—purity, sincerity and truth are other examples—that seem terribly important for morality but turn out to do very little real work.
Or, to put another way, I suspect the contention that authenticity has traveled so far from what it was originally meant to mean that it now means something like its opposite is true but the real problem was trying to make too much of the concept in the first place. It's a perfect example of Wittgenstein's dictum that you cannot pack more meaning into a word just as you cannot make a teacup hold more than a teacup-full by pouring a gallon of water over it.