Alicia Keys appeared at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards sans makeup, with a Just Cavalli long-sleeved, printed maxi dress and a messy braided topknot. She rocked the red carpet casually, make up free yet still so very stunning and modestly dressed.
After writing her empowering Lenny Letter speaking about the constraints of the cosmetic industry, the pressure of wearing cosmetics daily and ever more when she started her career in music, Keys adopted the need to go make up free. She has attended every event including judging on The Voice bare faced. Though rocking up to the VMA’s for 2016 with no make up, caused many to comment on her movement, some drawing negative attention and others in full support of her message to empower women.
In honour of the 53rd anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Keys shared a poem and sang a cappella about equality. In conjunction with the words she shared with us before presenting the best male video award, the words she shared in her Lenny Letter will stick with us, “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.”
In this Lenny Letter, she talks about one of her new songs, “When a Girl Can’t Be Herself,” quoting the line “Who says I must conceal what I’m made of / Maybe all this Maybelline is covering my self-esteem.” I highly recommend you read this letter to gauge a better understanding of her #NoMakeup movement. #RawAndReal
As NY Mag wrote of Keys’ barefaced look at the VMA’s, “here’s to more of the naked face and fewer naked dresses.” Amen! This is also in line with dressing modestly as well which I completely love and support!!
I have always adored Alicia and her music from a very young age. Her unique husk in her voice and her fashion style always spoke to me in a way that made me feel so comfortable in my skin. I was one who was a little tom boyish when growing up and felt most comfortable when wearing kicks or snapbacks. Though quickly discovered just like her, the pressure to feminise myself to “fit in.” Today I stand with Alicia and share the sentiment of not concealing my face to be considered beautiful. You do not need to wear makeup to feel beautiful. Truthfully, most days I cannot for the life of me be bothered in painting my face cause frankly I do not have the time. Thanks Alicia for being you and for encouraging women to feel comfortable and beautiful without painting their face with makeup.
Sometimes. You. Got. To.
Be You. Raw and Real. No Makeup.