Singer Alicia Keys Embracing #NoMakeup

Posted by Ria, 14 Jun 16

"In the morning from the minute that I wake up / What if I don't want to put on all that makeup / Who says I must conceal what I'm made of / Maybe all this Maybelline is covering my self-esteem"

This is from the song:"When a Girl Can't Be Herself" by Alicia Keys.

"No disrespect to Maybelline, the word just worked after the maybe. But the truth is … I was really starting to feel like that — that, as I am, I was not good enough for the world to see", she writes in an article: "Alicia Keys: Time to Uncover".

Growing up as a black girl or mixed race - as in her case - is not easy especially with the mainstream media dictating what "beautiful" is. So to fit into the world's concept of beauty, just like other dark skinned girls, Alicia felt in order to be considered beautiful, she had to cover herself up in make up and apply lots of gel on her hair to keep it from being too fizzy "to be a bit closer to perfect".

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"I started, more than ever, to become a chameleon. Never fully being who I was, but constantly changing so all the "they's" would accept me," she says. That is the harsh reality of how women are constantly brainwashed into accepting a certain kinds of beauty standards: light skinned, straight luscious hair, skinny... "One of the many things I was tired of was the constant judgment of women. The constant stereotyping through every medium that makes us feel like being a normal size is not normal, and heaven forbid if you're plus-size. Or the constant message that being sexy means being naked", she adds.

In order to deal with these insecurities, Alicia wrote songs filled with metaphors about not being able to be herself. She realized just how much she had censored herself. She was constantly insecure about leaving the house with no makeup, wondering about the paparazzi taking a picture of her looking like that and posting it all over for the world to see. Her insecurities were entirely based on what people would think about her.

Alicia writes about how all this changed:

'It wasn't until I walked into one of my first shoots for my new album recently that the issue was front and center again. I'd just come from the gym, had a scarf under my baseball cap, and the beautiful photographer Paola ... said, "I have to shoot you right now, like this! The music is raw and real, and these photos have to be too!"

I was shocked. Instantly, I became a bit nervous and slightly uncomfortable. My face was totally raw. I had on a sweatshirt! As far as I was concerned, this was my quick run-to-the-shoot-so-I-can-get-ready look, not the actual photo-shoot look. So I asked her, "Now?! Like right now? I want to be real, but this might be too real!!"

And that was it. She started to shoot me.'

And after seeing the photos of the 'real and raw' Alicia, all she could feel was empowerment, strength and FREEDOM!!! She felt a strong desire to destroy the self consciousness walls she had erected for herself over the years and to JUST BE HERSELF. And there began the #nomakeup revolution. And when that raw and real piece of artwork came out for her song "In Common", it resonated with other women who posted #nomakeup selfies.

"Nothin feels better than finding the freedom to be your messed up, perfect, smart, sexy self!!", she captions the video on her Facebook page.

This awakening for Alicia has clearly been an awakening for most women who have had to 'censor' their true beauty just to fit the stereotypical beauty standards that the media dictates. And for a woman, this kind of thing can really get exhausting... making one feel lost... not knowing who you truly are. Well Alicia concludes:

"I hope to God it's a revolution.

'Cause I don't want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing."

If you have had to hide under makeup because of feeling insecure about who you really are, share with us how this makes you feel and let us know if you would consider "uncovering". Like Alicia puts it: its "Time to Uncover".

2 responses to "Singer Alicia Keys Embracing #NoMakeup"

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  1. Posted: 24 Jun 16

    Mature women have always been convinced that in order to feel just as attractive as our much younger counterparts, we MUST wear makeup, even if it's a trip to the grocery store. Two months ago, I finally stopped doing it. The only thing close you'll see me sporting is Nivea A Kiss Of Color Lip Gloss. I'm loving the way I look sans makeup.

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  2.   ladybarb says:
    Posted: 14 Jun 16

    I hate to tell you this Alicia, but, the natural look, the no makeup look has been phased in and out for decades...

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