If you’ve been paying attention Alicia Keys lately, you can tell that something’s been missing — her makeup.
We first saw her new look in the cover art for her first single, “In Common,” off her upcoming sixth studio album. She claims it was a conscious decision that was inspired by the album’s focus on the pressure for women to be perfect, Time noted.
And in an essay for the Lenny Letter, Keys explained her new barefaced mantra even further saying this is “the strongest, most empowered, most free, and most honestly beautiful that I have ever felt.”
She wrote, “Before I started my new album, I wrote a list of all the things that I was sick of,” she wrote. “And one was how much women are brainwashed into feeling like we have to be skinny, or sexy, or desirable, or perfect.”
Keys also explained how the cover art came about.
“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!’”
She continued, “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!!"
Keys’s version of being "real" has truly changed the 35-year-old mother of two’s life.
“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," she concludes.
Keys does have a point.
There is an incredible amount of pressure on women to have a beat face every day, especially with the rise of contour and the plethora of YouTube tutorials on perfecting the smoky eye. Perhaps there is something incredibly refreshing to go au naturale and bask in the glory of our given beauty.
What do you think? Could you go barefaced like Alicia Keys?
(Photo: RCA Records/Sony Music Entertainment)
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