Alicia Keys didn't wear any make-up to Sunday's VMAs, and for some ungodly reason, not drawing a little black line around her eye is causing the world to freak out.
In an effort to learn how to better love herself without feeling like she has to conform to the societal standards of beauty, Keys began donning the au natural look earlier this summer — a choice that she told Lena Dunham's Lenny makes her feel "the most empowered" she's ever felt.
Her #NoMakeupMovement look shouldn't have come as a surprise though, considering her appearances on The Voice, at The Democratic National Convention, in the September issue of Ebony, and even on the cover of Vanity Fair have all been Maybelline-free.
The conversation we should be having is about her short, powerful monologue at the VMAs, honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. and bringing a little extra (and much-needed) attention to equality.
Yet, it has been her physical appearance and not her words that garners the attention of the Twitter-sphere — ironically, in light of the stand she is taking with her actions in the first place.
Some of the backlash was just plain cruel:
I'm all for natural beauty but Alicia girl you not setting no trend with this no makeup shit. Put on concealer & call it a day— Seul (@Knox_Jiinx) August 29, 2016
(I think this person is forgetting that "celebrity" still means "human being.")
im all for natural beauty but I cant get used to no-makeup alicia keys lol— nancy zermeño (@nblissz) August 23, 2016
(What do you think "natural beauty" means?)
While the haters were heard, the love from viewers definitely won on social media.
@aliciakeys No makeup? Nailed it.— Leslie (@LeslieMcMiller) August 22, 2016
Alicia Keys is my hero for baring her beautiful face on TV and elsewhere. Thanks for being a role model to females everywhere. #nomakeup— Laura elkind (@LauraElkind) August 22, 2016
And Keys couldn't have been classier in her response to her critics.
Y'all, me choosing to be makeup free doesn't mean I'm anti-makeup. Do you! 😘😘 pic.twitter.com/Mg0Ug9YA9q— Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys) August 29, 2016
If buying the newest Sephora lip stain gives you butterflies in your stomach, and contouring your face to perfection makes you feel like conquering the world, then by all means, go for it! Whether or not you choose to put on mascara in the morning is only your choice, and we agree with Keys in that it's time to stop shaming others who choose differently than us.
In a beautiful section that Keys wrote for Lena Dunham's Lenny Letter in May, she discussed her bare skin.
"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."
It's well documented that the media focuses on women's physical appearances rather than words and achievements, and the backlash to the singer's movement is showing just how far we still have to go before that happens.