She’s not the first celebrity to expose herself without makeup and she certainly won’t be the last, but for now, Alicia Keys is challenging beauty standards by making a choice to embrace herself without makeup.
The 15 time Grammy winning singer/songwriter, Actress and Philanthropist is tired of the pressures imposed on women every day. She penned a letter on the website lennyletter.com titled Time to Uncover where she reveals in an open and honest piece, her personal experiences with wanting to fit an image that is perfect. One that is a result of pressure, especially working in the entertainment industry.
“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,” She wrote.
You don’t have to be a celebrity to feel this way. Most women have felt less than perfect at some point in their lives. It starts quite early on too. I remember speaking to a group of students between ages 7-9 and one girl said she was on a diet because she wanted to look pretty and learned that by watching her mom.
In preparation for the release of her her latest single, In Common, Ms. Keys was once again facing all the insecurities when the time came to doing the promotional materials. “It wasn’t until I walked into one of my first shoots for my new album recently that the issue was front and center again,” she said. All the thoughts of having to be perfect flooded her mind, especially because the suggestion of shooting her in the raw was front and centre.
After a liberating experience being photographed with no makeup she has decided not to cover up. “…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.”