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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Columns

#Nomakeup provides foundation for truly better selves


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When Alicia Keys decided to lose the makeup in May, the general consensus was neither “yay” nor “nay.”

But as the movement caught fire, more women seemed to be against #nomakeup.

It was Keys’ decision to attend the MTV Video Music Awards bare-faced that stoked the ire of the public. They call it a “step too far” and accusing the artist of being a “fake a** feminist.”

Keys was bold for kicking the war paint on such an important occasion, and all women should appreciate her decision. Her makeup-free self came with a message: Makeup doesn’t define me or what I do.

“I felt powerful because my initial intentions realized themselves,” Keys wrote on Lenny Letter. “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.”

For most women, the pressure is on the moment we step into the mirror every morning: “What color eye shadow should I wear? Does this lipstick go with my skin color? Ugh, too much eyeliner. Crap, my mascara is clumping.”

It never stops.

The moment I step foot on campus, I feel as if I’m constantly comparing myself to other girls.

At UH, the fashion game is intense. In some ways, it can be intimidating.

It is innate, our desire to be physically appealing to others, but Keys is calling it like it is. The only person we should strive to please is ourselves, whether you feel comfortable with makeup or better without.

As young women in college, this is a time and place where we are so much more impressionable. The things we see on television or even the people we hang around also influence how we see ourselves.

It’s commendable to see a famous woman leading a movement that could positively affect how young girls view themselves.

For years, feminists have fought for gender equality and against women being objectified and standardized by what they wear and look like. So what makes Keys’ movement so appalling?

The truth: Women are frightened by what people will say to them as much as by what they will also think of themselves.

So women of UH, if it makes you comfortable, toss the makeup and embrace who you are. Haters are going to be haters, and there will always be one.

But if you love makeup, then, in Keys’ words, “You do you.”

Opinion Columnist Caprice Carter is a communication junior and can be reached at [email protected]

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