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Why Alicia Keys Began Her Personal #NoMakeup Movement

REVOLT TV

 // Jun 6, 2016

Paola Kudacki // RCA

If you've been keeping an eye on Alicia Keys lately as she hits the promo circuit with new single "In Common," you may have noticed that the singer has been rocking an au naturale look—and she’s doing it unapologetically.

Keys explained in last week's issue of Lenny Letter, in an essay titled "Time to Uncover," what inspired her #NoMakeup movement.

Before I started my new album, I wrote a list of all the things that I was sick of. And one was how much women are brainwashed into feeling like we have to be skinny, or sexy, or desirable, or perfect. One of the many things I was tired of was the constant judgment of women. The constant stereotyping through every medium that makes us feel like being a normal size is not normal, and heaven forbid if you're plus-size. Or the constant message that being sexy means being naked.

All of it is so frustrating and so freakin' impossible…

I was really starting to feel like that — that, as I am, I was not good enough for the world to see.

This started manifesting on many levels, and it was not healthy.

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…

It wasn't until I walked into one of my first shoots for my new album recently that the issue was front and center again. I'd just come from the gym, had a scarf under my baseball cap, and the beautiful photographer Paola (never met a Paola I didn't like) said, "I have to shoot you right now, like this! The music is raw and real, and these photos have to be too!"…

And I swear it is the strongest, most empowered, most free, and most honestly beautiful that I have ever felt…

I hope to God it's a revolution.

'Cause I don't want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing. Read the letter in full here.

Alicia's husband Swizz Beatz has shown his support on Instagram, too:

Congrats my love on the new #nomakeup challenge movement #aliciakeys #incommon 🙌🏽🌊

A photo posted by therealswizzz (@therealswizzz) on

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