Alicia Keys Doesn’t Get How Her Not Wearing Makeup Sometimes Became A Movement: “I Can Do Whatever I F-cking Want”
In the same way being a super sexual, glamorous woman puts you in a box, so does forgoing primping and pampering and opting for a more natural look. And Alicia Keys is not about being put in a box — or championing a movement that puts other women in one.
We all know about Key’s decision to ease up on makeup back in 2016 when she wrote a piece about her dependency on beauty products and decided it was “Time to Uncover.” We also know the singer isn’t exactly out here just bare-faced after her makeup artist spilled the tea on what it takes to achieve her “no makeup” look. At the time, Alicia Keys was adamant about not being a slave to wearing makeup and not being a slave to not wearing makeup either. And two years later, she’s still having to explain that concept for the people in the back.
The 37 year old is on the cover of Variety’s “Power of Women” issue, and she spoke very boldly about the “prison” young women in the entertainment industry are put in when it comes to their looks.
“We’re supposed to be this big, and so tiny, and so skinny. If we have any hips or any thickness or width with us, we’re fat. We torture ourselves; we don’t eat. I’ve experienced all of that,” she said. “I was subscribing to this sick identity. … Stay in your place, be feminine, be a lady, don’t make too much noise. Argh! If you go to work without makeup, it’s like, ‘Are you tired? You look tired.’ And it’s like, I’m not f—ing tired!”
Although Keys wanted to be free of those constraints, she also had to come face to face with who she is without them, and that includes how she looks. “That was one of the hardest things for me, in the beginning,” she admitted. “I’d literally look at myself in the mirror like, Yeah! That’s me! OK. Hi!”
Things also became hard when people took her personal choice as a profession that other women should do the same. One local TV journalist even thanked her for the message she was sending at the Grammys earlier this year, much to Keys’ surprise.
“Suddenly it was a movement, and I don’t even know what that means. It doesn’t have anything to do with makeup or no makeup. It has to do with who are you, what makes you feel good, how do you want to express that and even just asking the questions — What do I feel? How do I feel good? However that is, you should do it.”
And that’s why Keys, herself, refuses to be beholden to some #NoMakeup Movement, saying quite honestly:
“Sometimes, I want some damn makeup, and I’m going to wear it! Guess what — if I want to wear red lipstick and put eyelashes on, I can do whatever I f-cking want. I am the creator of my own destiny.”