When Alicia Keys started her #NoMakeup movement, like many of you, I said finally, a famous woman standing up to false ideals of feminine beauty standards and the quest for eternal youth â€“ someone in the limelight, unapologetically showing her un-made up face. Her message was unequivocal: Â â€œIâ€™m not going to cover myself up anymore; not my face, not my feelings, not my dreams, not my pain. No more.â€
YES. Could you high-five that woman any harder?
Lipstick, mascara, concealer -Â these are the enhancements that we think make us more valuable or wanted. Itâ€™s totally fun (I love make-up), but itâ€™s also a crutch, something that letâ€™s us obscure reality, or create an unhealthy hiding place. Weâ€™ve created lots of them:
Apologizing for no reason.
Being ashamed of our emotions.
Questioning our gut instincts.
Asking for less.
When we get real with ourselves and others, by speaking or being the truth, drawing boundaries, trusting ourselves â€“ confidence, and with it freedom â€“ become real.
I love seeing advertisers like Valentino (Christy, above) celebrate a naked female face, because itâ€™s really expressing much more than a fashionable aesthetic; itâ€™s no handcuffs. No industry. No veil. No apologies.
Crutches arenâ€™t the enemy.
Itâ€™s the false pretense that they determine our value, that is.
When weâ€™re free, from whatever has us captive, it feels different. We can breathe, because weâ€™re more fully expressed. We stand in our talents / scopes of work / leadership â€“ not with indignation or self-righteousness, but with a quieter, more truthful strength that doesnâ€™t need to be radicalized, to be real.