Alicia Keys and the #NoMakeup versus #Makeup Issue

The buzz this weekend is over an article or essay Alicia Keys wrote about why she is no longer wearing makeup. This announcement is being touted as a no makeup movement on social media. What seems like a message that may have been meant to empower women is starting something that is becoming divisive.

Both Sides Have Mean Girls

I've long known there is a division over natural beauty versus enhanced beauty. I remember four years I wrote a beauty article for Yahoo! Shine and stated that I did not wear makeup every day. You would have thought I shot someone based on the negative comments I received. Even a woman who was the same age I was at the time, 35, said that when I hit my mid-thirties I wouldn't leave the house without makeup on. I refrained from telling her that I was her age at the time.

The hate goes both ways. A lot of people criticize women who wear makeup. Check out any before and after makeup pictures or videos. You will see a slew of negative comments about makeup because it covers imperfections that the person wants to conceal for a moment in time.

Alicia Keys Has Shined a Spotlight

This makeup versus no makeup issue was typically a low key one. Every now and then someone would write about it but not much media attention is given to it. One would have to be blind not to know that the Entertainment industry does push a certain look out into the world. When "on the job" female entertainers who are of A-list status are seen with a full face of makeup.

On television makeup is a must. Good skin, no flaws is the standard of beauty. Even soap actress Kristen Storms from General Hospital is taking time off due to skin issues. So when someone of Alicia Key's status writes about going without makeup, the world pays attention.

Critics of #NoMakeup

Those Who Applaud 

#NoMakeup Speaks to Something Larger Extending Beyond The Beauty Industry

This is sparking something up with my fellow African-Americans. Men and a lot of old school thinkers within the black community openly criticize makeup. Specifically criticizing black women who choose wear a "full face" of makeup. The thought within our community for decades is that makeup, other than lipstick, is something "we don't do" or something "we don't need to do". Black men in particular are often seen referring to makeup as trickery and like to use the "take her swimming on the first date" line to ridicule. One person hinted to this on Facebook:

Probably for the first time, it is being brought to light to see how divided people, especially women are with the topic of makeup. In reality, we shouldn't be at all. Both natural beauty and enhanced beauty are okay. No woman should be made to feel less of a person because of what she chooses to or chooses not to put on her face. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made. Let's embrace our beauty whether we choose to let out natural beauty shine or enhance our beauty to another level. It's our choice either way.

Happy With and Without Makeup

Whether you choose to show your flaws and all or beat that face until it is poreless and flawless, just do what makes you happy. I am good either way. I'm 39 with acne-prone combinations skin, hyperpigmentation, and the occasional eczema flare up. Even though I am not blessed like Alicia Keys, I freely show the world me with or without makeup.

Main Image from Alicia Keys Twitter Account and

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