Singer/songwriter Alicia Keys is making news for her #NoMakeup campaign. The musician ditched cosmetics when she realized that she had become dependent on them to feel good about her appearance.
“To fit in or be thought of as beautiful, you have to cover up to be a bit closer to perfect,” she wrote in an essay for Lenny Letter. “Every time I left the house, I would be worried if I didn’t put on makeup: What if someone wanted a picture? What if they POSTED it??? These were the insecure, superficial, but honest thoughts I was thinking. And all of it, one way or another, was based too much on what other people thought of me.”
Keys has opted to ditch makeup completely — including for photo shoots, television spots and performances. But will she be able to prevent her images from being airbrushed and photoshopped to the same effect?
While there is no single “right” way to be a woman, we applaud her for speaking out against impossible beauty standards and doing what makes her feel best, showing other women that not everyone has to follow the herd. It’s an especially brave move for a BIPOC woman who always has a lens aimed at her. Unfortunately, it’s still a lot easier to still get gigs when you are already what most folks would consider classically beautiful.