Why Alicia Keys giving up makeup is important

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Posted Jun 10 2016 by Dave Darby of Lowimpact.org

Readers of the Lowimpact blog won’t necessarily know who Alicia Keys is. She’s an American singer / songwriter who has sold over 35 million albums. So very famous, very successful, and right at the heart of the entertainment industry. So shock! Horror! She’s decided to give up cosmetics.

What is she thinking? As you can see in the picture above, she looks absolutely hideous without makeup, and much older than her 35 years. Here’s another pic – ugh!


But seriously – here’s why Alicia’s giving up makeup is so great.

Empowering women

One of the reasons she gives for rejecting makeup is that she was always feeling afraid that someone was going to photograph her without makeup and publish it – the shame! If Alicia Keys felt like that, it’s a fair bet that millions of other women do too. And it’s not just women – younger and younger girls are feeling pressured to pay good money to hide their natural beauty with cosmetics.

This is from one of her songs:

In the morning from the minute that I wake up / What if I don’t want to put on all that makeup / Who says I must conceal what I’m made of / Maybe all this Maybelline is covering my self-esteem

So maybe more women will be emboldened by Alicia’s stand, and join her in giving up the fake looks and unnecessary expenditure.

Taking money from corporations

I think she hit the nail on the head with the reference to Maybelline. Corporations dominate the international cosmetics market – which is now worth $181 billion! Think of all the useful things that could be done with that money, instead of making young women feel bad about themselves. Or of course the money needn’t be spent at all. Then women just wouldn’t need so much money – maybe they could relax, and enjoy life more.

The power of corporations is damaging our democracy. This is one of the main reasons that Lowimpact exists, and so we celebrate anything that takes money (and therefore power) away from them.

Fewer animals tortured

Cosmetic testing on animals is banned in the EU and some other countries (but not the US). What does this mean to corporations? Nothing at all. Corporations (unlike people) are not restricted by national borders. If they can’t test on animals in one part of the world (or employ slave labour, smash unions, dump toxins, sell drugs banned elsewhere etc.), then they’ll do it in another part of the world.

You can help stop millions of animals being tortured by boycotting Avon, Johnson & Johnson, Chanel, Estee Lauder (to name a few brands that use animals to test their products), or better still, by doing an Alicia and giving up altogether.


If (fingers crossed) she can persuade millions of other women to give up cosmetics, then we won’t need so many giant factories, trucks, fossil fuels, industrial-scale manufacture of synthetic chemicals and plastic containers, and the huge amount of plastic waste generated (some of which will add to the great Pacific garbage patch – an enormous island of plastic in the ocean).

So anyway, if you don’t know who Alicia Keys is, have a look at the video below (back in her makeup days, obviously). She writes her own songs and plays piano too. It may not be your cup of tea, but me – I’m a sucker for massive female voices.