You may remember Alicia Keys writing a powerful essay back in June about why she decided to stop wearing makeup. Did you think she’d chicken out and wear makeup for the VMAs, her most public appearance since the essay went viral? Because she didn’t. And it got the internet’s attention in a big way.
First, a quick refresher: Alicia Keys is a legendary musician who’s won 15 Grammys, sold 35 million albums and 30 million singles worldwide, and accomplished just about everything a musician can accomplish. She has nothing to prove to anyone. Even so, she’s bravely put herself forward as the unadorned face of the #NoMakeup movement.
In a post on Lena Dunham’s feminist website Lenny Letter, Keys explained how going without makeup made her feel:
“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 is not the only star to ditch makeup in 2016. Pop superstar Adele made headlines recently for addressing her fans in Phoenix without makeup.
Both Keys and Adele have attracted mostly praise for rejecting traditional beauty standards. But, as you can see in the video above, some people just can’t avoid imposing those standards on the very few among us willing to buck them.
The overwhelming reaction we’ve gotten in the comments on our YouTube video on the subject is, “who cares?” And I’ll tell you: we do. Because this shouldn’t be a news story, but it is. Because standing up to cosmetics companies, beauty magazines, and needling fans takes more courage than you or I know. Because a woman can’t do anything without getting scrutinized left and right. We support Alicia Keys and in her words, “hope to God it’s a revolution.”
What do you think? Do you support Alicia Keys? Let us know in the comments below or @WhatsTrending on Twitter!