Lord knows I have my problems in life, I have even been blogging about some of them in my Celebrate Diversity posts lately. So I can understand how so many women are addicted to their make-up. I also admit that I am not very well attuned to the social scene so I really didn’t know much about Alicia Keys, but I admired her audacity.
By baring her bare face, Keys has revealed how makeup can become a crutch and a mask. The very fact that women are so encouraged to apply makeup communicates that we should be concealing our imperfections and that our human, flawed selves just isn’t what the world wants to see. All the negative reactions to Keys’ bare face showed people are more comfortable seeing a celebrity doused in layers of foundation and eyeliner than one who looks, well, human.
Keys wrote in an essay on Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter published in May that before she gave up cosmetics, she had gotten to the point where she was nervous to go out in public without makeup:
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. [Lenny Letter]
To me and my Asperger’s, women with lots of make-up have always intimidated me. They seem to be hiding their true selves or as they see it their imperfections. I have always been drawn to women who let their natural beauty shine.
I looked up Alicia on Wiki and found her to be a very energetic and creative person. Her sidebar bio from that site is to the right. I don’t know about you but I much prefer the lady in the picture above to the one at the right.
Telling young girls that it is a necessary part of life to hide your imperfection under layers of paint does, I’m sure, do damage to many. It is heartening to see that there are many young girls who are finally renouncing that idea and going “naked” so to speak. I guess panty hose are becoming a thing of the past, perhaps make-up is not far behind.
Yeah, I know there is a $billion+ industry that will fight this new trend tooth and nail. They will pull out all their marketers to convince you that going without make-up is like going with clothes. But I think eventually, perhaps even in my lifetime, that most women will not be afraid to show people their natural beauty. Marketing is a super strong force in our society and will continue to be used to entice people to buy their products. I hope more and more like Alicia can just say “NO”…