Alicia Keys chooses to go without makeup now

Alicia Keys just released a new single, In Common from her upcoming album and with it she’s taking a bold new step. She’s participating in the #NoMakeupMovement. In the video for the song we all saw her without any makeup and she’s recently explained that it wasn’t just for that video but it’s something she’s chosen to do on a permanent basis. She wrote a column in Lenny explaining why.

Before I started my new album, 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 says a photographer reminded her that she is beautiful without any makeup at all.

I’d just come from the gym, had a scarf under my baseball cap, and the beautiful photographer Paola (never met a Paola I didn’t like) said, “I have to shoot you right now, like this! The music is raw and real, and these photos have to be too!”

I was shocked. Instantly, I became a bit nervous and slightly uncomfortable. My face was totally raw. I had on a sweatshirt! As far as I was concerned, this was my quick run-to-the-shoot-so-I-can-get-ready look, not the actual photo-shoot look. So I asked her, “Now?! Like right now? I want to be real, but this might be too real!!”

And that was it. She started to shoot me.

It was just a plain white background, me and the photographer intimately relating, me and that baseball hat and scarf and a bunch of invisible magic circulating. And I swear it is the strongest, most empowered, most free, and most honestly beautiful that I have ever felt.

Alicia is hoping that more women will join in the movement and also let go of their makeup.

What do you think of the #NoMakeupMovement? Do you want to give it a try?

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