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Alicia Keys: “A Woman’s Worth”

“A Woman’s Worth”

Now that the dust is starting to settle from the rampage of Drake x Rihanna “romance” (or lack thereof) posts, in regards to the most recent MTV VMA’s (trust– we are just as guilty for having the feels over it, too), we wanted to address another “controversial” topic from the show and simultaneously give props to someone we are inspired by.

As creatives and performers, we understand the importance of presentation. The ultimate goal, when putting out art is to walk away feeling proud and accomplished– no matter the feedback/ judgment, but we have to admit that criticism still hits hard and hurts. The thought of being judged on a daily basis, at times where you are not performing, at times where YOU feel you are at your best, but others disagree, is quite honestly, a sad and scary thought. In this day and age with the hundreds and thousands of make up tutorial videos, filters and photo editors to change your natural beauty and, of course, the instant gratification of “likes” on your well thought out selfie, it is very sad to know that the following generations will/could deal with more backlash because of what society is already starting to conform to.

When Alicia Keys hit the stage this past Sunday, my first thought was, “Jesus, I wish I could look that bomb with no makeup on.” I literally was so intrigued that she looked perfect with what it seemed like little to no make up on. The following day, I addressed the PLC with due dates and asked for suggestions on upcoming topics, coincidentally and to my surprise, Alicia Keys was brought up. How did I not know/see that the #nomakeupmovement was a ‘thing’, let alone a bad thing, to many??? Well I will tell you this– we were not happy. The squad of females, here at the Lemonade stand have been in the limelight, have performed on stage for thousands- with and without make up on. Their voices need to be heard and since they had their own opinion on the subject, I decided to share them with you. -Puck

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Actual tweets against the #nomakeupmovement…www.eveningecho.ie

“Empire State of Mind”

Who better to honor this #WCW than Ms. Alicia Keys herself. She is turning heads with the #NoMakeupmovement this summer, even showing up to the VMA’s with a bareface. While many want to make a fuss over this statement, I am absolutely in love with it.

My biggest aspiration as a dance instructor, is to inspire others not to fear showing their most authentic, honest version of themselves. For me personally, it was making the transition into learning how to dance in heels and be feminine. I used to think dancing in heels had to have a certain idea about it, and felt uncomfortable trying to portray a certain image. After quite some time, I learned for myself that actually it was something much, much more than that. It was embracing myself as a woman. I could choreograph heels dances however I felt moved to. It was still my body, my art, my passion, and my love to dance.

With Alicia Keys’ bold, brave, move to publicly embrace her natural beauty, I can’t help but feel shocked that people are taking such harsh reactions. I believe we can all take a page out of Alicia’s book and be inspired to take a stand without folding to the fear of being prosecuted. I believe that people can have their opinion, but when it is spreading a negative connotation and is accessible to everyone, once put on the internet, it creates a voice that promotes putting others down. In a world already full of opinions, it’s time to put out the empowering ones.

Confidence, authenticity, raw transparency… all seem like admirable qualities to me! -Bianca

“Girl on Fire”

I am not understanding why people are criticizing Alicia Keys for not wearing make-up to the VMAs. They can take a seat. Several, in fact. That is a beautiful woman. A beautiful woman who can do whatever she wants to in a world full of vanity, huge egos, and *ahem* media influence. That’s what makes her even more beautiful.

Yes! The entertainment industry is all kinds of effed up when it comes to standardized beauty. And yes! It is the responsibility of the entertainer to provide and maintain an image to stand out from the rest of the “bunch” to have some sort of longevity in the entertainment industry, but come on… celebrities are humans, too! Why criticize women empowering other women to be comfortable in the skin they are in?

It’s pretty simple… To all of the powers that be, have several seats (and look in the mirror)! If you are criticizing a celebrity, who is a woman, for not wearing make-up to an event full of plastics, then what message are we sending to young girls/women (our daughters, sisters, nieces, cousins, etc.?) who still have yet to go through their awkward stages of finding their identity? All the while, being true to yourself?!

It’s okay to have an opinion. It is okay to go left when everyone else is going right. It is okay to be different from the rest. It is okay to be weird. It is okay to be true to yourself, and it is okay to be a woman with the capacity to be the multifaceted creature that she aspires to be despite all of the criticism she will receive. Please. Several. Seats. -Nikiya

Ms. Keys looking extra Fabulous this past Sunday on the Red Carpet.

“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.” -Alicia Keys lennyletter.com

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