Wednesday, May 25, 2022




In a society that idealizes unrealistic beauty standards, makeup is a way for women, young or old, to create a canvas on their skin. Sharp, contoured cheekbones shining with highlights that catch the sun are a girl’s best friend. But why is this the new normal? Why is it shocking for a woman to step out in public without makeup? 

For a general understanding, a woman spends an average of $3,756 on their appearance per year, which would add up to $225,360 in her lifetime. Men spend an average of $2,928 per year, equaling a lifetime total of $175,680 when using the same life expectancy as for women. This then means that men spend $49,680 less than a woman on their appearance over their lives. Appearance is a huge part of our daily, monthly, and yearly routine; it can take over our thoughts. 

Putting this stereotypical need for a makeup-coated face to rest is Alicia Keys. The Grammy award-winning singer chose to bare her skin with #nomakeup. Alicia Keys wrote an article in 2016 for Lenny Letter titled “Alicia Keys: Time to Uncover.” In the piece, the singer explained how she feels about the #nomakeup movement and how her journey in life led her to start it. She said that she became a chameleon, adapting to what other people conceptualized as beautiful.When detailing how her experience with makeup began, Keys wrote: 

“Does it start somewhere in second grade after picture day when you wear your frizzy hair out ’cause your mama says it’s beautiful but all your “friends” laugh at you? You grab the brush and gel and pull your beautiful big hair back into the tightest ponytail you possibly can to contain your unique hair in a bun — hiding a piece of who you are in order to fit into a picture of what others seem to see as perfection. Yeah, that’s one moment. ” 

It is difficult to push back insecurities and reveal your skin to everyone around you. The constant conversation of how celebrities look without makeup can turn negative. If a celebrity is photographed without makeup on, it is newsworthy. Tabloids exploit bare-faced celebrities by placing their images beside their glam shots. Although the process was not easy, Alicia Keys is an example of an icon who stripped herself of the societally- normalized use of makeup Alicia Keys created a platform for people to not wear makeup while bringing each other up. But, that is not always the case. Placing so much attention on the moments when a celebrity walks out “bare-faced” does the complete opposite of normalizing it; if wearing no makeup is news, then it can’t be normal. 

So, the next step should be normalizing the action. No makeup? Who cares! Women and men should be free to choose whether to apply their favorite bronzer or simply rub on some sunscreen. We are beautiful regardless of what is on or not on our faces.

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