Alicia Keys’ No Makeup Movement


Alicia Keys recently showed up to the VMAs with absolutely no makeup; completely clean faced. Many were shocked by her decision. I mean, what kind of woman shows up to one of the biggest award shows in the business without any mascara? A strong woman, that’s who. Every single woman in the business is strong in her own way; Alicia Keys finds her strength in not wearing makeup. Do whatever you feel comfortable with doing. Make yourself feel confident and powerful.

So why did Keys chose the VMAs to show off her makeup free face for the first time since she’s been in the public eye? Well that’s just it: this wasn’t the first time. As it turns out, Alicia Keys started her “No Makeup Movement” back in May of 2016. She wrote an article for LENNY detailing why she had chosen to do away with makeup. She admits in the article that it wasn’t something she was fully comfortable with at first, that it was the photographer for her new album that helped her realize that she didn’t need to hide behind a mask. For Keys, wearing makeup is a symbol of not being herself. It was her way of blending in so that she wouldn’t get singled out in a negative way by the media and the bigwigs of the music industry.

A bunch of celebrities are joining Keys in the movement, like Halle Berry and Nicole Richie, and I think that’s wonderful. Yes, provide a voice for the women who don’t feel comfortable hiding themselves behind a face full of makeup. Give little girls who think that makeup is the only thing that will make them beautiful the confidence to realize that they are beautiful without makeup. Fight the social assumption that women must wear makeup to be beautiful, to be professional, to be loved. Fight against the cultural and societal expectations that women, especially women in the public eye, must look perfect at all times. I am all for female empowerment, but it is important for people to realize that Alicia Keys’ movement may not be for everyone. Now I’m not saying that this is because some people are ugly because that’s just not the case. It’s just that some people feel more comfortable with makeup on and there’s no shame in that.

Women who are comfortable and confident in makeup shouldn’t have to feel bad about wearing it. It’s their choice, it’s their body, it’s their lives. This movement isn’t specifically anti-makeup, Keys even stated that it wasn’t in a recent tweet:

“Y’all, me choosing to be makeup free doesn’t mean I’m anti-makeup. Do you!”

Women who chose to wear makeup because it makes them feel good about themselves have the power to chose how they want to look on any given day. Which, I think, is pretty cool. As someone who doesn’t really wear makeup, I am so impressed by women who can make themselves look like a totally different person with just a few beauty supplies. That’s freaking magic right there. It takes some serious skill to look that flawless and I applaud them.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is, whether or not you chose to join Alicia Keys’ movement, you shouldn’t feel ashamed. People feel confident in different ways. People gain confidence in different ways. Not everyone is going to feel comfortable going bare-faced at a televised award show. That’s okay. Some people look amazing with makeup on. Some people don’t (that would be me).  Sometimes things that are considered socially acceptable or stereotypical are the things that make people feel comfortable about themselves and that’s not anything to feel guilty about.

Whether you want to go makeup free or not, you do you!