Alicia Keys is making sure everyone knows “A Woman’s Worth” isn’t measured by the amount of makeup she wears.
Keys wrote a personal essay in last week’sLenny Letter, entitled, “Alicia Keys: Time to Uncover,” in which she commented on the role that makeup plays hiding individuality and in society’s need to impress others.
After photographer Paola Kudacki encouraged the 35-year-old singer to exude natural, makeup-free beauty in a photo shoot, Keys was inspired toadopt a makeup-free mentality in her personal life as well as hernew music video, “In Common.”
“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,'” Keys wrote about her photoshoot experience.
“I was shocked,” she wrote. “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!'”
The “too real” photographs ended up inspiring Keys to show off her natural face more often (photoshoots included) and sparked her #NoMakeup revolution. Since then, the singer has shared numerous makeup-free photographs on social media in hopes of inspiring others to free themselves and embrace their true beauty.
In regards to the original shoot, Keys wrote, “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.”
Keys’ husband, Swizz Beatz, also gave his wife a shoutout on Instagram to show his love and support for her bare-faced photographs.
“I hope to God it’s a revolution,” Keys wrote.”‘Cause 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.”
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.
Bonus: 100 years of kitten beauty