Girl, have you heard the heated debates surrounding Alicia Key’s no makeup stance? Of course you have. As someone who has made a living pimping makeup artistry to celebs, I’m surprised by a R&B/pop star taking this stance. Every celebrity client I’ve ever worked with has put me on speed dial so they can be sure to never leave the house without their face on. Of course, a big part of that is to avoid being the covergirl for some grocery store rag with the headline Look How Scary She Is Without Makeup!!!, so I get it. And then there’s Alicia Keys. She stepped on the scene and said, “I will be the one to show my face without makeup and claim it as my strength.” Brave move. What has been particularly interesting to me is that Ms. Key’s personal (that’s a really important word - personal) decision has sparked downright loathing in some women and a lot of judgement from the media.
I’ve read several articles about her decision and seen her on talk shows discussing what she says is her quest to find her authenticity. The viewer comments after the segments are just ridiculous. Some of the milder comments accuse her of doing this to get attention. Others say she’s doing it to make other women who are less attractive feel bad about themselves. And then there are the nasty, name-calling venomous comments that are waaaay too intense for a discussion on makeup. Seriously, you’d think she was harming someone with her bare face. Obviously, something bigger is going on here.
As a society, we spend a lot of time categorizing, judging and policing women. The media has no issues with printing articles like, “Who are the hottest women in Congress?” Really? Not to take any political stand here, but have you read the media’s comments about Hillary’s voice, or Sarah Palin’s apparent “hotness”? And then there’s Trump’s ratings of just about every woman he’s ever encountered.
From rump-shaking, boob-bouncing music videos to near nudity on the red carpet, young girls are told their value comes mainly from their looks. And there are obviously a lot of women who believe that message. I’ll stop here and say, basking in being lovely, attractive and desireable isn’t bad. It only becomes questionable when it’s not seen as part of a whole. Women are whole beings, not big eyes layered in color and false lashes. We’re so much more.
But back to Alicia. Her decision to stop covering her face in colors, contours and highlights may not be a “movement” as some of the media is dubbing it *eye roll* but it is causing much needed conversation. Why is it such a big deal that a woman says, “I want to just bring me in a pretty dress to the awards ceremony”? The scales of judgement seem to be skewed in one direction. When a woman shows up on the scene glammed up and fabulous, everyone applauds and takes endless photos. She’s spent hours and literally thousands of dollars to look that way. At the end of the night, she will go home and wash it all down the drain. She will take out the clip-in hair extensions, wash out the hair spray, take off the Spanx and crawl into bed. I question why it’s so awful for her to avoid all of that once in awhile. I love makeup and all things girly, but there are days when I stick my hair in a knot and bounce out the door. Granted, I’m not a celeb so the stakes aren’t as high for me, but I think every women should be able to do that without backlash, especially from other women.
I'd love to hear your thoughts.