Alicia Keys' look at the VMAs shows she meant it when she said she's over makeup.

'I don't want to cover up anymore.'

Alicia Keys did something pretty gutsy at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images.

She showed up to the red carpet, husband Swizz Beatz at her side, wearing absolutely no makeup.

Photo by Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images.


We're not talking "no-makeup makeup" either, by the way. (You know, when people use makeup to rock a more natural look?)

We're talking actually no makeup.

Photo by Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images.

Whether she's appearing in promos for her new gig hosting the 11th season of "The Voice" or performing at the DNC, you may have noticed that Keys has been walking out the door without a single dab of lipstick or swipe of mascara.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

Keys expressed why she decided to go the makeup-free route in an essay for Lenny in May 2016.

"Before I started my new album, I wrote a list of all the things that I was sick of," she penned in the newsletter, which was co-created by Lena Dunham. "And one was how much women are brainwashed into feeling like we have to be skinny, or sexy, or desirable, or perfect."

Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images.

"One of the many things I was tired of was the constant judgment of women," she wrote.

"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."

Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images for VH1.

Keys' decision to ditch makeup is laudable — not because makeup or the women who wear it are inherently bad (they're not) but because she's embracing what works for her.

People of all genders should be able to wear as much or as little makeup as they choose without feeling like they need to conform to society's expectations (expectations that start kicking in younger than many of us may realize).

To wear makeup or not to wear makeup is a personal choice. When it comes to the images presented in the media, however, it can start to seem like wearing makeup is the only choice. Keys' decision to reject that pressure is setting an amazing example.

No one should feel like they need makeup to hide who they really are, which makes Keys' VMAs look one for the books.

"I don’t want to cover up anymore," she wrote in Lenny. "Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing."

Photo by Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images.

Most Shared

There's nothing like a good reunion story to get you misty in the ol' tear ducts. Kate Howard, the managing editor of Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, shared a story of randomly running into the dog she used to foster on Twitter. You know all those dog reunion movies? The ones with names like A Dog's Hope and A Dog's Sloppy Kiss? The ones that make you cry buckets no matter how hard you think your heart is? Well, this is that, but in real life.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

The great thing about American democracy is the separation of powers. The federal government has rights, states have rights, counties have rights, cities have rights, and we, as people, have rights, too.

Heck, even animals have some rights in the good ol' U S of A.

The president of the United States is not a king or a dictator so a team of U.S. mayors, led by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, are asking to go over his head to negotiate directly at next month's UN climate change conference in Santiago, Chile.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Instagram / James Van Der Beek

About one in five pregnancies end in miscarriage, although it is believed the number might be higher because many miscarriages occur before the woman knows she is pregnant. Miscarriage is actually quite common, yet many people who've had one feel alone, partly because there's still a taboo around talking about it. In order to reduce the stigma surrounding the loss, James Van Der Beek opened up about the struggles him and his wife, Kimberly, experienced.

The Van Der Beeks, who have been married since 2010, have five children and one on the way. In a pre-taped segment on "Dancing with the Stars," Van Der Beek announced that his family will be welcoming a new baby. But the segment gave us a more personal look as Van Der Beek revealed they've experienced three miscarriages as well. "We've had five kids and three miscarriages," Van Der Beek told his dance partner, Emma Slater. "Miscarriage is something that people don't really talk about, and we wanted to recognize that it happens to people. We wanted to destigmatize that as much as we possibly could."

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Courtesy of Capital One

It was around Christmas 2018 and Jean Simpkins, 79, was looking out the window of her new three-bedroom apartment. Eleven floors above Washington, D.C., the grandmother of two gazed out at the lights of the city and became overwhelmed with gratitude. "The only thing I could say," Simpkins remembers, "was 'Thank you, Father.'"

Almost a year later, Simpkins still can't help but look at the apartment as a miracle — one she desperately needed. Fifteen years ago, when her grandson was born, she became his primary caregiver. Six years later, when her granddaughter was four, Simpkins was awarded full custody of her, too. She's spent the time since trying to give her grandchildren the life she knows they deserve, which has been difficult on a fixed income. On top of that, Simpkins worried that the neighborhood the family resided in wasn't the best influence on her kids. Something had to change.

Then she learned about Plaza West, a new development created by Mission First housing that would reserve 50 of its apartments specifically for families in which a grandparent or other older adult was raising children who were related to them. The waiting list, Simpkins says, was daunting. There are a great deal of grandfamilies in the D.C. area and she was sure it might be years before she got the call. But soon after applying, she was offered a choice between a two-bedroom and a three-bedroom apartment. She accepted the latter, sight unseen. She knew that each of her grandchildren needed space of their own.

Keep Reading Show less
Future Edge
True
Capital One