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Alicia Keys with #NoMakeup.
Alicia Keys with #NoMakeup

Alicia Keys with #NoMakeup.

Singer/songwriter Alicia Keys is making news for her #NoMakeup campaign. The musician ditched cosmetics when she realized that she had become dependent on them to feel good about her appearance.

“To fit in or be thought of as beautiful, you have to cover up to be a bit closer to perfect,” she wrote in an essay for Lenny Letter. “Every time I left the house, I would be worried if I didn’t put on makeup: What if someone wanted a picture? What if they POSTED it??? These were the insecure, superficial, but honest thoughts I was thinking. And all of it, one way or another, was based too much on what other people thought of me.”

Related: Music Monday: Alicia Keys, James Blake, and Kaytranada.

Keys has opted to ditch makeup completely — including for photo shoots, television spots and performances. But will she be able to prevent her images from being airbrushed and photoshopped to the same effect?

While there is no single “right” way to be a woman, we applaud her for speaking out against impossible beauty standards and doing what makes her feel best, showing other women that not everyone has to follow the herd. It’s an especially brave move for a BIPOC woman who always has a lens aimed at her. Unfortunately, it’s still a lot easier to still get gigs when you are already what most folks would consider classically beautiful.



Laurel Dickman is an intersectional feminist, plus size model, stylist, and fat activist that can also be found via her blogs, Exile In Dietville and 2 Broke Bitches. She grew up in the south between Florida and North Carolina, migrating to the Portland, OR in 2005. All three places inform her perspective of the world around her a great deal. While in Portland, she worked with the Alley 33 Annual Fashion Show, PudgePDX, PDX Fatshion, Plumplandia, and numerous other projects over the near decade that she was there. In August of 2014, she moved to the Bay area with her partner, David and trusty kitty, Dorian Gray. She continues her body positive and intersectional feminism through various forms of activism, fashion, photography projects, and writing from her home in the East Bay. She can be reached at laurel@wyvmag.com and encourages readers to reach out to her to collaborate!

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