A while back Alicia Keys made an announcement that she will stop wearing makeup as a journey to empower herself. I wasn’t sure whether or not she was seriously going to commit to this, but she did! At the the 2016 VMAs, Alicia Keys appeared with makeup free and received quite the backlash about it from the media.
Following the VMAs, the following day her husband, Swizz Beats took it to twitter to defend his wife from these ridiculous attacks. Here is what he had to say:
“Y’all gotta think about that. This is deep,” he says at the opening of his emotional video. “Somebody’s sitting at home mad, because somebody didn’t wear makeup on their face… not your face, but they didn’t put makeup on their face, because they just didn’t feel like wearing makeup.”
He adds, “But you’re mad because that person didn’t put makeup to please you? What sh*t is this?” he continued. “Because you can do whatever you want to do. Think about it… this is deep.”
Alicia Keys did not stay silent and she also expressed her opinion after posting a barefaced selfie, with the caption “Y’all, me choosing to be makeup free doesn’t mean I’m anti-makeup. Do you!”
On the Today Show, she inspired Tamron Hall, Billy Bush and Al Roker to follow suit and removed their makeup. Keys helped them removed their makeup, and they had a positive response to what the singer inspired them to do.
Alicia Keys is not the only individual who has done something like this, there are many online personalities who try to inspire young girls to embrace their true self. A few of them are beauty-guru, Kandee Johnson and Ingrid Nilsen. As a teacher, my goal is to make sure my students see their worth and show them they are great just the way they are! However, in this day and age this is very hard to accomplish. Social media and sharing photos has become all about the vanity of it, if you scroll through Instagram you will find people having thousands of followers and all they post are selfies. That’s not the only problem, people use ‘beauty’ apps to airbrush their faces and hide any imperfections. This gives the younger generation the idea that imperfections are a flaw. The media is famous for this notion with their airbrushing and Photoshop techniques, to achieve that unrealistic hourglass shape on a celebrity and perfect skin. According to an article in The Telegraph, over 40 per cent said the advertising made them feel self-conscious about their appearance, 28 per cent said they were left feeling inadequate and 20 per cent said they were less confident in their daily lives as a result of such images. This is definitely a problem because these images are not reality, every human being has imperfections.
Let me tell you a quick story, so in 2014 I got my free gym membership for the YMCA because I’m an employee. I realized I was struck with a silly dilemma, should I wear makeup to the gym, meaning foundation, or not. Prior to that moment, a few years ago I felt so self-conscious about my blemishes that I couldn’t go for a five minute run to the bakery without makeup. So when the time came to make a decision of whether or not I should wear makeup to the gym, I decided not to. No one there is going inspect my face and tell me to go wear makeup because I have some blemishes. I’ll also be sweating so there is no point to wear any makeup. The moment is started to go against this insecurity, I felt like I was winning and it felt good. I started going for a walks around the neighborhood without makeup and even lipstick, lipstick is usually a must for me. Once I even posted a group picture of me and my friends, when we just woke up, with no makeup and dark under eye circles. At first I had the urge to delete it but then I told myself, “If anyone has a problem with it, it’s their problem, not mine”. Confidence comes through when you start to accept yourself for who you are, the right people will love your true self.
That’s how it works, you have to go against your insecurities, otherwise they will not go away. It starts with small steps, we tend to be our worst critic more than other people! I think what Alicia Keys is doing is great, it brought people’s attention to a very important matter that could be the start of something positive! So I want to hear from you lovely readers, what is one thing that makes you feel confident about yourself. To name a few qualities and features I like about myself are my eye color, my gap teeth smile, I’m a a very giving person, I’m creative and more. Make a list of the positives each day, they will overweight the negatives.
Thank you for reading and see you soon!