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Why the Alicia Keys 'No Makeup' Controversy Frustrates Me as a Sick Person


Alicia Keys is making headlines for not wearing¬†makeup¬†to the MTV Video Music Awards. Apparently people believe it is¬†their right to decide whether this is the right or wrong decision. In reality, though, it’s her body, her choice to do what she wants and everyone should¬†respect her for that. And not that my¬†opinion matters (for real, it doesn’t), but she is gorgeous either way.

As a sick person who, without makeup, may look or feel a¬†little drab, the way people are taking this non-issue and making it one really¬†bothers me, especially towards a perfectly healthy person. I’ve noticed it as an ‚Äúissue‚ÄĚ highlighted¬†through Yolanda Hadid (who has Lyme disease), in that her ‚Äúfriends‚ÄĚ would make¬†comments about how in some pictures she looked sick or wouldn’t bother putting on¬†makeup some days (which apparently offended them?), while on other days she would look ‚Äúhealthy‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúnormal‚ÄĚ(which apparently meant she was faking¬†it?). I kind of tried to let it not¬†bother me (it did) since it was ‚Äúreality‚ÄĚ television full of drama queens, but¬†now it’s clear that there are a lot of¬†people who think it’s their right to¬†have an intense opinion about how you present yourself.

For me, I like putting on makeup and will do so if I have¬†the ability. I don’t want to look sick¬†all the time. It’s really cathartic to¬†see myself¬†one way and be able to use my¬†skills and liven my¬†face up a¬†little bit. I have flaws that I am not¬†ready to embrace and feel the need to cover.¬†And I feel like that should be OK.

I’m not saying all women should wear makeup to look better. I’m saying I do and it’s none of your beeswax. OK sometimes it is, but only when I bring it up in conversation or if¬†you offer a genuine compliment or perhaps you are a close confidant. When I do my face up, people might offer that¬†I look so well or much better. This is¬†nice to hear, especially when I feel the complete opposite, so I do always like¬†to offer ‚ÄúIt’s the magic of makeup!‚ÄĚ just to make clear that I may not¬†actually be A-OK. And if someone wants¬†to just compliment my eyeliner skills, hey I’ll take that, too.¬† The best compliment, of course, is along the¬†lines of ‚ÄúYou look beautiful.‚ÄĚ No, I’m¬†not saying this is the compliment of all compliments ‚ÄĒ I’ve got brains, too! However, if you’re going to comment on¬†appearance, basically just say something nice or don’t say anything at¬†all.

I’ve got too many other things to worry about rather than if¬†you think I have too much makeup on or if you think I would look so much¬†better without it. I have so many things¬†that aren’t under my control, and making myself look better is something that I¬†can sometimes do. Wearing makeup may only seem skin deep, but the¬†self-confidence that comes with or without it can matter in a world where I¬†can easily feel lost.