Here’s why people are annoyed at Alicia Keys
In case you haven’t heard, singer and pretty person Alicia Keys went makeup-free at the MTV VMAs. And while a lot of people thought that was awesome, a lot more thought it wasn’t.
“Apparently the ‘no makeup’ look only works if you are Alicia Keys,” one user tweeted.
The 35-year-old seemed to settle the matter with a nearly pitch-perfect tweet: “Y’all, me choosing to be makeup free doesn’t mean I’m anti-makeup. Do you!”
Here’s why I think people are upset. First, she’s not just doing her own thing —she’s trying to make a statement. Keys declared she would start going makeup-free back in May, noting that she feels liberated to rock the simple look and even finds it refreshing to show her true self.
But she later wrote in Lena Dunham’s newsletter, Lenny: “I hope to God it’s a revolution.”
And second, while the idea of saving all that time, money and mental energy we spend putting on a face is exciting, the lamentable fact is that most of us can’t afford to skip it.
Turns out, women who spend time doing their makeup and hair actually earn more in the workplace, Fortune reported in May. Well-groomed females were raking in about $6,000 more annually than their less put-together coworkers.
And then there’s the confidence factor.
A 2011 survey showed that two-thirds of women who turned up for a job sans makeup said it was more stressful than a job interview or a first date, according to UK wellness conference The Vitality Show.
Only on Friday, the “Girl on Fire” singer went on “Today” to proclaim that baring all was like “not covering up your true self.” Host and fellow pretty person Tamron Hall promptly whipped out facial towelettes and wiped her face clean.
While that made for good TV and it’s nice that Keys thinks she’s starting a revolution (complete with hashtag, of course, #NoMakeup), our society is based on looks — and that’s not changing any time soon. At best, hers is a revolution for pretty people to … still be pretty. Truth is, the famous millionaire looks gorgeous either way and in this shallow society, not everyone can wake up, go outside and expect not to be judged.
A 2011 Harris poll showed that nearly half of 1,200 women surveyed felt bad about themselves if they weren’t wearing any makeup.
Again, not the way things should be, but it sure is the way they are. And it’s not very likely that women are going to be embraced for their bad skin and dark circles just because one famous musician said so.
“If my skin was as nice as @aliciakeys I’d wear no makeup but my skin is pizza so there’s that,” one Twitter user wrote.
And if the women hiding under layers of foundation and concealer out of fear of negative stares isn’t proof enough of our hard-to-overcome superficial world — just remember judgmental people like this exist:
“Some of yawl (sic) don’t need to follow Alicia Keys’ ‘no makeup movement’ cuz u refuse to rid yourselves of them dark spots. Get concealer boo,” a social media user said.
“Alicia Keys is doing that no-makeup thing cause she can afford it,” one guy wrote on Twitter. “Some of you girls look like Krusty the Clown without makeup. Dont do it.”