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Cindy Maddera

I've seen people on Facebook commenting on Alicia Key's decision to go make up free. Most of them are positive, but I noticed one comment in particular that was not so positive and it came from a woman. I'll get to why that part of things bothers me in a minute, but first let me tell you about this lady's comment. Her comment said "I heard that she's [Alesha Keys] still using mineral based foundation." I read her comment in the same gossipy tone of voice you'd expect from your super gossipy neighbor who says things like "I hear he eats his own feces." There was just so much disdain in her tone, disdain that Alicia is either not wearing makeup or trying to pull a fast one on us.

As a young girl, I would stand on the toilet in the upstairs bathroom drying my hair while my mom and sister stood in front of the large mirror, putting their makeup on for the day. I watched them carefully apply foundation with a sponge, covering their entire faces with it. The final touch was to dust your face with a foundation like powder to 'seal' in the makeup. This is what I learned about makeup from watching my mom and sister: you NEVER leave the house without at the very least some sort of coverup foundation on your face. This implies that in some way, my natural skin is ugly. No one wants to see the purplish tint under my eyes, my freckles and sun spots. No one wants see any pimples or large pores. I learned that my skin is flawed and it must be covered up. I'm sure many of us learned this same lesson in regards to makeup and our skin. We didn't learn all of this from our mothers. Smooth, flawless skin is the tag line for eighty percent of the advertisements geared for women. You can't open a magazine without seeing the words 'removes fine lines', 'covers imperfections', or 'flawless beautiful skin'. 

The reason I point out that the negative comment came from a woman is because it still makes me mad to hear and see women not supporting each other in positive endeavors. I'm sure that comment was born from her own insecurities. Some could easily say that going without makeup is a very brave thing to do and not all of us feel that secure enough with our own so called flawed skin. Don't get me wrong. Makeup can be totally fun. On those days those mean voices are talking really loud in your head, sometimes putting on a simple pink lipstick can make those voices hush. Sometimes we need a little eyeshadow to lift our spirits. Sometimes I need a little makeup and bunch of Instagram filters to make me feel pretty, but make no mistake. Those voices in your head that tell you all the mean things about yourself are liars. You are beautiful with or without that makeup. 

Alicia Keys may very well be brave, but above all, she's inspirational. She's teaching a whole new generation of girls that makeup does not define your beauty. She's helping us change the way we see ourselves and how we see beauty. Our so called flawed skin is beautiful.