What is the real self? Is it the self that we choose? We choose images.
If you would prefer to be someone, you might try to be that person, and project that image. But you may not be able to be that person. You can't live in this world as that image. So then you just are yourself -- but are you really yourself? Or is the real you the one that you would choose if there were no other constraints, the ideal image?
Max Stirner made the point that you don't know what a slave wants until they get freedom.