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The Keys to feeling comfortable in your own skin

By Angela Mendez

Section: Arts

September 9, 2016

What started off as a metaphor has now grown to be a truly powerful movement embraced by many. Alicia Keys’ #nomakeup movement has sparked important conversations about societal beauty standards and the obligation people feel to uphold these standards. This movement has inspired numerous people to not only have pride in their natural beauty but also in who they are as people.

It all began a few months ago when Alicia Keys was having a photo-shoot for her new album cover. Her photographer Paola exclaimed, “I have to shoot you right now, like this! The music is raw and real, and these photos have to be too!” Keys automatically felt shocked and insecure. She was not “photo-shoot ready.” Paola ignored her insecurity and started to take pictures. As time progressed, Keys stated, “A bunch of invisible magic [started] circulating. And I swear it is the strongest, most empowered, most free and most honestly beautiful that I have ever felt.” She later realized that she does not “want to cover up anymore.” Keys wants to be as real and transparent as she can be. For many people, this is absolutely terrifying and nerve-wracking. What if society does not accept you? What if your personality is rejected and considered “abnormal”? Questions such as these are the main reasons why so many people are insecure and hide behind masks, appearances and personalities that are simply not them. Keys’ realness and defiance of societal norms of beauty are simply phenomenal and admirable.

Alicia Keys is now nationally inspiring others in her #nomakeup campaign movement. Women and men of all ages are embracing this ideology and are posting selfies on Instagram without makeup. They hold pride in their natural beauty and who they are as people.

Although Keys’ commitment to no makeup has been going on for quite a while, her movement has recently begun to grow and gain national attention. This was aided by her silent but powerful statement when she went to MTV’s Video Music Awards (VMAs) without an ounce of makeup. Alongside other famous celebrities who most likely spent hours on hair and makeup, Keys’ lack of makeup was a decision that did not go ignored. Many people questioned her choice and even criticized her, but the majority supported Keys’ bold and self-empowering decision. Her actions exceed that of her own personhood, positively impacting people across the nation who look to pop culture for inspiration.

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