WHEN ALICIA Keys announced her #NoMakeup movement, opting instead to show off bare-faced and makeup-free face, it triggered an onslaught of criticism.
But the singer, having braved the music industry for over 15 years as one of R&B’s greats, took all the Internet trolling in peaceful stride.
Yesterday (Jan 17), Allure released a cover story featuring Alicia Keys and her personal journey to self-acceptance.
“I’m not a slave to makeup. I’m not a slave to not wearing makeup either,” Keys told Allureabout her decision to renounce the oppressive politics of beauty in the public eye.
“I started at 20 years old in this ridiculously invasive world in which everyone covered me in makeup and then threw me under tons of lights, so I’d sweat for two or three hours,” she says. “It took me so long to finally say, ‘Whoa! Who am I under there?’ That is just my own personal quest.”
She added: “I am all about a woman’s right to choose. I think a woman should do anything she wants as it relates to her face, her body, her health.
“Whatever mode of expression that empowers you, that’s what you should do. What I am not down for is this ridiculously high, unrealistic expectation about appearance that we as women are held to.”
But even she admits that doing away with superficiality on the outside has, ironically, made her more beautiful than ever.
“I think there’s something really beautiful about what resonates from within us. One thing I’ve heard more than ever is this glow that people refer to that I have. I kind of recognise that glow because I’ve begun to listen to myself inside,” she says.
“And I think there’s something really powerful that happens when you start to listen to yourself. It makes you feel more aware. In touch. More confident. I’m not more confident because I think I’m better than, but because I’ve been hearing myself more, listening to myself more. And that’s taken a little minute to arrive at that place.”