Alicia Keys: 'Strong men get manicures'
The singer doesn't support "strange, oppressive ideas" about what is considered beautiful.
Alicia Keys is tired of the way gender stereotypes impact health and beauty routines.
The Grammy-winning Girl on Fire singer shocked the world when she announced her decision to stop wearing makeup last spring (16), and she now explains her choice to go barefaced was part of an overriding effort to liberate both males and females from the pressure of beauty standards.
"One of the big ones is that I was so sick of the way women were forced to feel inadequate in many different circumstances or forced to feel insecure by the way we’re portrayed or the way we look," she tells Allure magazine. "Another one: I am so annoyed at the way we force boys to be fake strong - 'Don’t cry, don’t be soft'. Let a boy be able to dance! Let a boy paint his nails... Who cares! All these strange, oppressive ideas."
Alicia has broken unspoken Hollywood rules by walking several high-profile events, such as the BET Awards and the MTV Video Music Awards, without any makeup on, but she hasn't sworn off cosmetics for good.
"I’m not a slave to makeup," she declares. "I’m not a slave to not wearing makeup either. I get to choose at (any) given moment. That’s my right. I am all about a woman’s right to choose.
"I think a woman should do anything she wants as it relates to her face, her body, her health. Whatever mode of expression that empowers you, that’s what you should do. What I am not down for is this ridiculously high, unrealistic expectation about appearance that we as women are held to."
Stressing her stance on cosmetic freedom, Alicia concludes: "I think makeup can be self-expression. I have no intention to shame anyone at all (who chooses to wear it). No one should be ashamed by the way you choose to express yourself. And that’s exactly the point. However, if you want to do that for yourself, you should do that."
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