Alicia Keys Goes Makeup Free In Powerful Photoshoot
If you struggle to leave the house without putting your "face on" you'll understand how Alicia Keys felt.
That was until she decided to ditch the makeup for good.
The singer has shared a touching message on LennyLetter.com about her decision to go makeup free for her new song, In Common.
"Before I started my new album, I wrote a list of all the things that I was sick of," she shared.
"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."
On top of that, Alicia had the unique problem - every time she went out she was in the public eye.
"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," she wrote.
So when the singer walked in for a photoshoot for her new album, she was shocked when approached to take some very "real" photos.
"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," she said.
"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!"."
After her initial hesitation of being shot in a sweatshirt for the "raw" shoot, Keys shared it helped her make a powerful realisation.
"My desire to listen to myself, to tear down the walls I built over all those years, to be full of purpose, and to be myself! The universe was listening to those things I'd promised myself, or maybe I was just finally listening to the universe, but however it goes, that's how this whole #nomakeup thing began."
The singer has since gone makeup free for Vanity Fair - a look her husband was quick to share and applaud.
With or without makeup, we think Alicia looks stunning - inside and out.
Read her essay in full at LennyLetter.com.
Photos: Getty/RCA Records