Alicia Keys is a lot of things; singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress – a wildly successful and respected hit maker who recently made another kind of hit by beginning to appear in public without make-up.
In an article (“Time to Uncover“) for Lena Dunham’s online magazine, Lenny, Ms. Keys describes how her role in the #nomakeup movement began. In a nutshell, make-up had been a chore that no longer felt necessary for the authentic Alicia. I dig it.
Her message has rung true for thousands of women who have used the #nomakeup hashtag to show their faces in the raw. I just checked Instagram and as of 10/3/16 at 2:30 p.m. EST, there were over 12 million posts. Granted, some of them are of a) body parts, not faces; b) faces, but with make-up on; c) landscapes and d) dudes. Still, nice going, ladies.
In addition to the large scale and enthusiastic support Ms. Keys has received, she has also been charged, by other women, of being, in various ways, inauthentic.
Most unscientific is the complaint that she can afford to buy beautiful skin. Nope. Beautiful skin is mostly heredity, and our habits – sun exposure and questionable enjoyments such as heavy drinking and smoking – determine the rest. Come to think of it, I may be a poster child for how good genes
trump beat years of extracurricular activities consistent with a rock and roll lifestyle. If habits are everything, I should look like Yoda. Thanks Dad.
From my experience, women know that they can look better by using a bit of make-up, and I maintain that it should take no longer for a woman to apply it than it takes a man to shave. That’s my kind of feminism – equal output.
We spend far too much physical and emotional energy on how we look, and an obsessive concern can be a drain on our happiness and goals. Expending a reasonable amount of time and money on style and grooming is about self-respect, while exhausting ourselves over our appearance is about exactly the opposite. (Unless you’re Kim Kardashian; then it’s all business.)
What do you think?