May 2016. A shock wave goes around the celeb and beauty world when Alicia Keys, the famous singer, announces in an open letter that she’s all about #NoMakeup from now on. The Girl on Fire said:
“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.”
“[…] it is the strongest, most empowered, most free, and most honestly beautiful that I have ever felt.”
Clear, strong message, from a strong, beautiful woman. When Alicia decided not to wear make-up to attend last week’s VMA’s, people took it online to vent their opinion, pro AND con.
Where do you stand? Have you made your mind -and/or face- up yet? Well, no biggie if you haven’t, we are here to help you out. Here’s a short overview of some of the pro’s and con’s, all lined up so you can pick a side (or select a bit from both, of course). We like to end with a more positive note, so let’s listen to the nay-sayers first.
No make-up, nothing but an ugly lie?
You wouldn’t think that going make-up less and writing a statement about it would cause such a stir, but there are in fact a couple of arguments that plead against Alicia’s case. First of all: Alicia has kind of a privileged position. As a celebrity, she is able to say ‘f*ck you’ and to do what she wants, without a lot of consequences. Hate to break it to you, but a lot of women aren’t that lucky. Recent studies have shown that women who wear make-up and do their hair actually earn more than women who don’t. Yep, it’s not right, but right now, that is the case: women who look more put-together gain about 6,000 dollars more than their colleagues who are less bothered by their glam game.
Confidence is key
Another reason is very simple: confidence is key in our society, and truth is: a lot of women don’t feel confident without any make-up. Keys is hashtag blessed with amazing, clear and glowy skin, and that is something not everyone can say. This is the ugly truth: if Alicia Keys’s skin wasn’t as perfect, she would get ten times the backlash she’s getting now. That’s what annoys people: Keys’s revolutions seems preserved for the pretty, who will still look pretty even without make-up.
Self acceptance or beauty revolution?
Actually, the revolution mentioned in the previous paragraph immediately brings us to the third and final reason why people aren’t completely happy with this beauty move.
After the commotion around her VMA’s look, the pop singer tweeted a make-up less picture of herself, saying that her not wearing make-up does not mean that she is anti-make-up. However, in her open letter, she very clearly stated that ‘she hopes to God this is a revolution’. That kinda sounds like an anti-make-up statement, no? What is Alicia’s objective with this movement? Simple self acceptance, or a worldwide beauty revolution? We’ll leave the question open.
Out with the fake, in with the real
Luckily, here at Enfnts Terribles, we like to focus on the good. Whatever backlash Alicia may be getting, maybe it IS time for a beauty revolution. Over the last couple of years, we have been showered by images of ‘the perfect face’. Full lips, carved brows, crazy lashes,… more has been more for quite some time now. Truth be told, it is refreshing to see a little less is more, every once in a while. Yes, the haters may have some arguments, but the believers are coming in strong(er).
Imperfect is the new pretty
First argument in favour of Alicia is simple: it was about damn time! Just like in fashion, with brands like VETEMENTS, people are fed up with ‘just pretty’. Pretty is boring, and we want MORE. Imperfections, quirks, atypical beauty, it makes things more interesting. That’s why Alicia’s no make-up statement is as cool as it is: she doesn’t hide the (minor) flaws she has underneath a mask of foundation. She might be making herself less of a conventional beauty, but at the same time, she renders herself more interesting.
Another argument ties in with one of the non-believers. While skeptics see the singer’s privileged position as a reason to bash her, others see it in a more positive way. Yes, being famous is a privileged position. But it also means that you have an influence. You are given a voice, a voice that you can use for the better. Well, that’s exactly what Alicia is doing. She is speaking up for a cause she believes in, using her influence to make a change.
Confidence is key, yes, but by showing that she is confident in her own skin, even without make-up, Alicia shows the world that confidence can come from within.
It is not always what it is
Another thing that haters are saying, is that society is as it is, right now. Appearance seems to be everything. Well, they are right. Right now, society is obsessed with ‘how we look’. Thing is: does that mean that we should just accept that? In our humble opinion: no. Change will not come overnight, we won’t all be rocking bare faces by tomorrow. But speaking up about the things we believe in is necessary, and beautiful.
Alicia Keys may not be starting a radical revolution, but she is at least showing that there is something else than what media are flooding us with. And you know, sometimes, one face is enough to spark said revolution. On which side of the debate do you stand?