No ultimate answer is expected from this thread, just rational comparisons.
You don't know the face of your essay reader so don't use your natural style (if it's not-normal like cheeky). You don't know your reader's preferences so you need something more general that can be understood by all people. This is not a novel where your audience is coming to you, this is an essay where you are going to your audience.
Express your true self. Colleges are extremely erratic in their decisions; one year they want a particular type of student and the next year they want another type. Be yourself and if they need someone like you in the student body then they will pick you, it's basically a shot in the dark.
Please build upon these arguments if you feel that I haven't expressed the views enough.
maybe we should assume that essays from both views can completely convey the idea they are trying to get across.
Personal View: Candid
I feel uncomfortable with being someone other than me; its like a big fat lie. I just want to express myself in my own way and see what colleges think of me.
Yes, you are right. Big, fat lie. :) And besides, one person's safe is another person's candid. Wait, does that even make sense? What I mean is, you might try to be "safe" and end up just as unsafe...
A reader can tell when you are being genuine, and that is most important. Be genuine, and then go back and check to see if anything you wrote can seem irreverent toward the admissions process -- or offensive in any other way.
I choose candid! Conservatively candid.