When it comes to award shows, celebrities typically choose to go the full nine yards in terms of preparation, hiring makeup artists and hair stylists to craft their perfect look for the night out. Even the minimalist, no-makeup makeup look (like Kim Kardashian’s at the MTV Video Music Awards) takes hordes of makeup products and skin care prep just to create the impression “I woke up like this.” So it’s no wonder the Internet went absolutely crazy (in both a good way and bad) over the fact that Alicia Keys showed up without a single dab of makeup on her face for the VMAs on Sunday.
Not surprisingly, her appearance caused quite the controversy within the Twitterverse (even though the Canadian singer/songwriter Alessia Cara also chose exactly the same approach). Fans jumped to the conclusion that Alicia was making a statement against the use of makeup for all women, rather than making a statement about her own preference. Considering that no celebrities are allowed to do their own thing without extensive repercussions on Twitter, this isn’t exactly shocking.
In response to the outcry, Alicia Keys felt it necessary to tell fans that just because she isn’t wearing makeup right now doesn’t mean she doesn’t like it in general. In a tweet posted yesterday, she wrote, “Y'all, me choosing to be makeup free doesn’t mean I’m anti-makeup. Do you!”
The #NoMakeup social media movement may have started as a way for women to show confidence and to speak out about the conventional wisdom that all women need to wear makeup daily, but some have turned it into yet another way to shame women. Makeup shaming has become so prevalent that even YouTube makeup artists have spoken out about it. One notable example: a video posted by YouTuber NikkieTutorials.
“I’ve been noticing a lot lately that girls have been almost ashamed to say they love makeup,” Nikkie says in the video. “Because nowadays, when you say you love makeup, you either do it because you want to look good for boys, you do it because you’re insecure, or you do it because you don’t love yourself.”
If you take a look at other celebrities, like Lady Gaga, for instance, she uses makeup as a form of art, rather than as something that society requires of her.
Point being, whether you’re a fan of makeup or not, you shouldn’t feel ashamed of your preference. Whether you choose to wear makeup or not, you should be making the decision for you and you alone.