The musician no longer wants to hide "behind a wall of makeup"

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Lately, Alicia Keys has been making a commotion, and headlines, with her latest decision to go sans makeup every single day. Though the singer and her charmingly woke husband Swizz Beatz have repeatedly pointed out that this is a personal decision not something she’s trying to enforce upon the rest of the world, it seems everyone has their own take on this makeup-free movement. And in a new interview with Red Bull’s monthly publication, The Red Bulletin, the singer opened up once again about what prompted her to take this bold stance in an industry where unnatural enhancement is the status quo.

The whole interview kicks off with a bit of a philosophical back and forth, with the author asking what it is about the idea of perfection that annoys her, a concept she combatted in her new single “In Common.” The musician replied, “How do you define perfection?” When the writer responded, “Completeness?” Keys adds, “That gets us closer to the core of the problem. Isn’t it absurd for a human, with all our foibles, to strive for perfection? Take that route and you’re only heading for failure and frustration.”

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with trying to better yourself, but The Voice coach warns, “You have to ask yourself who is setting these goals. Is it really you? Or has someone else forced them on you? Take a look around you. Society tells us how we should look, what we should eat. The industry forces us to live up to some ideal, just because it wants to sell a product.”

The singer clarified that her new decision to let her natural beauty shine unadulterated both in private and on stage, “because I realized that my whole life I’d been using makeup as a shield to hide my true self, thinking it would make me glamorous. I thought I had to be made up to be successful in show business, but that’s complete nonsense.”

She also took the time to clear up that her decision is not about stopping or discouraging other women from wearing cosmetics. “Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against women wearing makeup—it’s a personal decision,” she explained, “But I feel more comfortable without makeup. And I’m happy to say I’ve received a lot of positive feedback from young women for making my decision. I believe that you have to feel good about yourself if you want to be successful in life.”

Wrapping up the Red Bulletin interview, Keys was asked what men could learn from her self-love attitude, the singer replied, “That’s easy: Accept yourself the way you are. And don’t let anyone talk you into hiding your true self. Don’t hide your face behind a wall of makeup, and don’t hide your views against prevailing attitudes.” Preach, Alicia

How do you feel about Alicia’s decision to go makeup-free? Sound off below!