The most beautiful makeup
of a woman is passion.
But cosmetics are easier to buy.
Yves Saint Laurent
by Paola Kudacki for “In Common”
Alicia Keys, 15 time Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter, producer and accomplished actress, a New York Times best selling author, entrepreneur and activist, wrote on lennyletter.com:
We all get to point in our lives (especially girls) where we try to be perfect.
The harsh, judgmental world of entertainment was my biggest test yet. I started, more than ever, to become a chameleon. Never fully being who I was, but constantly changing so all the “they’s” would accept me.
Before I started my new album, I listed all the things I was sick of. And one was how much women are brainwashed into feeling like we have to be skinny, or sexy, or desirable, or perfect. I was tired of the constant judgment of women. The constant stereotyping through every medium that makes us feel like being a normal size is not normal. Or the constant message that being sexy means being naked. All of it so frustrating and so freakin’ impossible.
During this process, I wrote a lot of songs about masks filled with metaphors about hiding. I needed these songs because I was really feeling those insecurities. I was uncovering just how much I censored myself, and it scared me. Who was I anyway? Did I even know how to be brutally honest anymore? Who I wanted to be?
I didn’t know the answers exactly, but I desperately wanted to.
I walked into the first shoot for my new album and this issue was front and center. The photographer Paola Kudacki said, “I have to shoot you right now, like this! The music is raw and real, and these photos have to be, too!”
I was shocked. Instantly, I became nervous and uncomfortable. My face was totally raw from the gym. This was my run-to-the-shoot-so-I-can-get-ready look, not the actual photo shoot look. So I asked, “Now? Like right now? I want to be real, but this might be too real!!!”
And that was it. She started to shoot me. It was a plain white background, me and the photographer intimately elating, me and that baseball hat and scarf and a bunch of invisible magic. I swear it is the strongest, most empowered, most free, and most honestly beautiful that i have ever felt.
I felt powerful because my initial intentions realized themselves. 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!
Once the photo I took with Paola came out as the artwork for my new song “In Common,” it was that truth that resonated with others who posted #nomakeup selfies in response to this real and raw me. I hope to God it’s a revolution.
‘Cause I don’t want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing.
Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share your personal revolution.
No Makeup by Paola Kudacki
With makeup for “Queen of the Field”
for a billboard ad
for “If I Ain’t Got You”
All images from Google.
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