Alicia Keys is sticking to her promise.
In a guest post Keys wrote for Lena Dunham's Lenny Letter, she told the world she was trying something new: going makeup free. And Keys wasn't committing to the barefaced look just for a selfie, like so many celebs have — she promised to stop wearing makeup altogether.
"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."
Explaining why she made such a major choice, she wrote, "I was finally uncovering just how much I censored myself, and it scared me. Who was I anyway? Did I even know HOW to be brutally honest anymore? Who I wanted to be? I didn’t know the answers exactly, but I desperately wanted to."
She continued, "In one song I wrote, called 'When a Girl Can’t Be Herself,' it says, '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.' 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."
And now Keys, who is a judge on Season 11 of The Voice, has debuted her makeup-free face. On Sunday's episode, she was as freckled and fresh-faced as she was when she appeared on the BET Awards red carpet, the first public event where she scrapped makeup and went all natural.
Keys' choice is inspiring on so many levels. While makeup can be a powerful tool to inspire confidence in women — makeup is art, after all — pressure to stay out of public unless a full face of the stuff is firmly in place can be a real pain. Who has time to conceal, contour, highlight, strobe, blush, false eyelash, etc., every day anyway? And when all that makeup starts to feel like it's covering up the real you, it's important to realize that women have the freedom to buck society's standards and ditch it altogether, just like Keys is doing.
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