Alicia Keys Goes #NoMakeup: “I Hope to God It’s a Revolution”
In a time when almost everyone seems to be trying for the perfect Instagram selfie, musician Alicia Keys is inspiring the latest trend: women leaving their faces completely bare.
Kind of weird that this is such a shocking idea nowadays — but it seems to be catching on.
The 15-time Grammy-winning R&B singer, songwriter and producer published a letter on Lena Dunham’s feminist website Lenny on why she’s embracing the makeup-free lifestyle after years and years of trying to be “perfect” in the eyes of her friends, the entertainment industry and her fans.
“I started, more than ever, to become a chameleon,” she wrote. “Never fully being who I was, but constantly changing so all the ‘they’s’ would accept me.”
“Before I started my new album, I wrote a list of all the things that I was sick of. And one was how much women are brainwashed into feeling like we have to be skinny, or sexy, or desirable, or perfect. 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.”
The inspiration to drop makeup completely came from a photoshoot for her upcoming album, when she was fresh from the gym in a sweatshirt, head scarf and baseball cap. Photographer Paola Kudacki insisted she had to shoot Keys just as she was. “The music is raw and real, and these photos have to be too!”
“I swear it is the strongest, most empowered, most free, and most honestly beautiful that I have ever felt. I felt powerful because my initial intentions realized themselves. My desire to listen to myself, to tear down the walls I built over all those years, to be full of purpose, and to be myself! The universe was listening to those things I’d promised myself, or maybe I was just finally listening to the universe, but however it goes, that’s how this whole #nomakeup thing began.”
Keys said she hoped the #NoMakeup trend becomes a revolution for women. “‘Cause I don’t want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my should, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing.”
#NoMakeup became a trend over the weekend as women and girls were inspired by Keys to celebrate their natural look.