How Alicia Keys Became My Role Model In A New Way

Photo credit: NBC

Female celebrities are always expected to look the part.

That includes makeup, fashion and hairstyles. If they’re caught on camera without those things, they are instantly shamed. We look to them for new ideas on beauty and fashion.

Now I’m not sure where this contouring came from, but it’s now the norm. Not just for celebrities, but also for ordinary people.

However to me, it’s frustrating. I’m no fan of heavy makeup, I’m quite okay with my eyeliners, mascara and bronzer. Just to slightly highlight my features, look less tired and less pale. I’ve never used contour and I don’t plan to. I hope the world of female beauty won’t put that pressure on me either.

I want to see celebrities to set a trend where it’s okay to not wear contour or heavy makeup. I want every female to feel good in her skin, with as little makeup as she truly desires to wear, or none at all. I dislike that we are looked at in funny ways because we decided not to wear makeup that day.

I do understand how makeup can make a female feel. Prettier, professional, more like a woman. I get those feelings too. But some days, I like to feel natural, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I knew a lady who always used to ask me, “You’re not wearing any makeup are you?” I would say “No I just wanted to be natural today…?” She would then say, “I can tell, you look tired and quite pale.” And with a squint of my eye and a flash of a smile, I would excuse myself and promise to keep my smile at a distance from then on. She made me feel wrong for not wearing makeup. Because I simply didn’t feel like it. Has anyone ever made you feel like that?

I admit that I felt a different connection with my role model, Alicia Keys. When she had chosen to stop wearing makeup all the time. Yes, she is naturally beautiful, and yes, she is famous so it’s not the same. But the point is, she set that trend.

She held a new level of power as a female. Alicia felt anxious when she left the house with no makeup on, which is the same feeling thousands of girls have everyday. She can empathise with us. “I don’t want to cover up anymore” she says, “Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing.”

If that’s not the epitome of beauty inside and out, then I’ll never know.

Words by Koree Jade Pearce

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