Maybe I Do Care About Alicia Keys and #NoMakeup

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It was just a regular lunch hour for me endlessly caught up in what I like to call “the scroll” it’s when I just mindlessly scroll through Facebook like a zombie. I came across an article, Alicia Keys Has Started A #NoMakeup Movement, And It’s Amazing. I see a picture of Alicia she’s not wearing any makeup, and this is my immediate reaction:

“Alicia Keys with no makeup.”

“She’s still beautiful.”

“She’s pretty.”

“A pretty girl with no makeup.”

“If Alicia Key’s has come into self-acceptance, that’s awesome!”

“This is a lot of praise for a pretty girl who is a celebrity that has been photographed without wearing any makeup.”

“A celebrity who can afford to go to the dermatologist and get regular facials.”

“#NoMakeup????”

Basically, my first thought was that she looked beautiful. I hadn’t fully formed my opinion, but the disadvantage of a trending topic on social media is that people get cynical (myself included). I wasn’t going to bash Alicia Keys for her Aha moment, I just wasn’t about to give her a cookie for doing something I do all the time, show up to work with no makeup on.

Then I read the comments….

Women were not happy about #nomakeup because they said they didn’t want to stop wearing makeup. In the article. Alicia never stated that other women shouldn’t wear makeup.  She only said SHE didn’t want to cover up anymore. Her statements were about her personal journey. How did this picture of a bare faced Alicia Keys turn into a brawl?

Then I had a lightbulb moment, DUH, because women are a minority and when a minority makes it into the public eye they now represent all of us. Alicia is no longer allowed the same privilege that I take for granted of showing up to work not wearing any makeup.  Her job depends on how she looks. A perceived image can make people sensitive. I understand. I sometimes feel betrayed when an actress I thought looked perfectly fine loses weight. I feel like she’s falling into the ideals of society and leaving us regular women behind to join the stick thin Hollywood Illuminati. (If that’s even a thing)

Maybe the sea of makeup devotees felt left behind on a train they didn’t want to board because unlike Alicia; they can’t afford a dermatologist or get weekly facials. Alicia is a pretty celebrity who on the outside looking in doesn’t have much to hide. Hell, even without makeup Alicia is sitting under good lighting being photographed by a professional photographer. I thought to myself,  “Alicia just doesn’t understand our struggle our everyday woman struggle.  Kudos to you Alicia on the self-acceptance, but I won’t be throwing away any of my $60 eye shadow pallets anytime soon.”

Then I checked myself

I had just had a conversation with my best friend about how people try to pressure you into being the “old you”. When you truly experience growth you can’t go back to the “old you” and you don’t owe anyone an explanation on why you can’t live up to a past version of yourself. When things don’t change you get stale. Ready, ripe, rotten that is the process of fruit and people. Unlike fruit, we can’t force people into fermentation. (Alicia is a person, not wine! You can’t freeze her in time to make yourself more comfortable)

One woman’s journey does not represent us all and that concept needs to die. (period point blank). We can’t demand to be seen as multi-dimensional and then condemn women for evolving. In the great words of Queen Bey, Ok ladies now let’s get in formation. Form into a line where we support and applaud the change, growth, and evolution. As long as the next woman’s metamorphosis is healthy, I see no reason to take it as a personal attack on how you chose to be a woman. There is no one right of being a woman.

#NoMakeup For Real

The thought of not wearing no makeup doesn’t faze me. Ok, it does bother me I’m a confident person, but I prefer to control how people see me. I’d be a liar if I said the way I look doesn’t play into how I feel. As a matter of fact, my 7th-grade guidance counselor could expose me as the world’s biggest hypocrite.She could tell you a story of a student sent into her office crying hysterically. I mean full on tears, loud sobs from losing your breath while crying, snot, the works. You would have thought someone had died. When the student’s crying finally calmed just enough for the guidance consoler to ask what is wrong. The student shrieks, “MY HAIR IS NOT DONE!”

That crying student was me. I thought I could stay home sick (sick because my hair wasn’t done) from school. My mom didn’t care about my hair.  She made me go to school the with the world’s stingiest, harden gel filled, deconstructed french roll turned into a ponytail. My mom just dropped me off at school like she didn’t care about my feelings. (I was thirteen. I wasn’t picking up on the whole school is more important than your hair concept.) Like she couldn’t understand that a thirteen-year-old can not show up to school looking anything less than perfect. That day I learned a valuable lesson, always wash and blow dry your hair the night before or things can get ugly in the morning.

As women, some of our identity is attached to being visually appealing to the eye, as though we have nothing else to offer the world other than the way we look. Like our unpolished, bare faced selves aren’t worthy of being considered beautiful. The societal beauty standard is continually being raised and what we find visually appealing is starting to look less and less like #nomakeup. Real is becoming the new ugly.

Maybe I will send Alicia Keys a cookie because women deserve a prize for accepting their authentic selves. Maybe #NoMakeup isn’t about never wearing makeup again but about embracing our truth. Maybe it’s about finding the beauty in celebrating “I woke up like this, no for real.” Maybe it’s the strength some thirteen-year-old girl needs, so she doesn’t deep breath sob cry in her guidance counselor’s office. Maybe if we all just got into formation and stood in line with Alicia, then we could create a norm where showing up to work with no makeup on is an option for every job, even if your job is being a world renown entertainer like Alicia Keys.

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12 thoughts on “Maybe I Do Care About Alicia Keys and #NoMakeup

  1. mspoet271 says:

    I love your HAIR! ❤ and I support each and every word you said. Yes, I fell in love with the whole Alicia's no make up thing… and I do believe that we're more than just a winged liner and a whole lot of mascara's xo

    Like

  2. Ijeoma Eboh says:

    Your skin is fabulous! I too have been trying to find my feelings with the whole #nomakeup thing, because I wish I was comfortable without it. I have a lot of hyperpigmentation that won’t let me be great. Its cool to see “real” women embracing it though as well – even before AKeys brought renewed attention to bare face.

    #BLMGirl

    Like

    • ohwizeone says:

      Thank you for the compliment! I also struggle with hyperpigmentation so I know the struggle is real. You just have to work with your skin and find what works best for your skin.

      Like

  3. finessecurves says:

    Well said.

    Her journey reminds me of my natural journey for the past ten years.

    I want to be accepted for my natural beauty. But, I’d be lying if I said society and I didn’t like myself with a cake face and straight hair, too.

    I see where she is coming from, and she’s very smart for capitalizing on the obvious, though.

    Like

  4. Januarie York says:

    Love it !

    I agree that we shouldn’t hold people to this ‘stay the same’ forever torch. I remember when the phrase “you’ve changed” was popular, back when it was not acceptable to experience personal growth (why was this ever a thing). I too applaud AK’s personal revelation and after reading her letter (not the blogs, the articles or anything else that designated her spokesperson over a movement she never actually campaigned for), I understood her better and where she was coming from. To that note, she looks great without it. My issue was never with AK when I first heard about it. I saw her video and immediately took notice that she was not wearing makeup and how bold that was for her, but I loved it. Don’t like the song but dug the makeup free face because it goes against what the machine would have her do. My issue is the rest of us out here, who look at Alicia and try to push her as an agenda on each other. “leave the war paint alone’ was one of the captions I read by a man and for at least the last year, there have been memes, videos and pictures going around that show a woman’s before and after. These are almost always littered with comments from thousands of people shaming women for looking different or wearing make up or ‘telling lies’, etc…. These same people will take AK’s personal revolution and sell it on us to be our ‘authentic’ selves. Nevermind a woman’s reasoning (there could be many, none of which she has to explain) for wearing makeup.

    Again, I applaud AK.
    But crickets for the folks that will use this as an opportunity to disrespect those who are on a different journey with their face.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ohwizeone says:

      Absolutely!!!! Alicia’s choice isn’t an agenda it’s a journey. I can’t hear anything from people who have high unrealistic expectations about what beauty and then get self righteous about the measures people take to become the ideal. You can’t perpetuate and condemn in the same breath, as far as I’m concerned. I knew exactly where you were coming from on your post 🙂 It inspired me to write this. 🙂

      Like

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