Girl Can't Be Herself


  • Alicia Keys' decision to arrive at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards in August 2016 barefaced stirred a huge reaction. The singer later clarified she'd decided to forgo makeup as part of a journey towards empowerment for herself. In an essay penned for Lena Dunham's Lenny Letter, Keys detailed the pressure she felt to look perfect.

    "Before I started my new album, I wrote a list of all the things that I was sick of. And one was how much women are brainwashed into feeling like we have to be skinny, or sexy, or desirable, or perfect," she wrote. "All of it is so frustrating and so freakin' impossible."

    Keys finally felt liberated when she sat down for a photoshoot straight after a gym session and the photographer immediately began taking pictures of her.

    "I was shocked. Instantly, I became a bit nervous and slightly uncomfortable. My face was totally raw. I had on a sweatshirt!" she recalled. "(But) I swear it is the strongest, most empowered, most free, and most honestly beautiful that I have ever felt."

    This song details her decision to stop wearing makeup.

    In the morning from the minute that I wake up
    What if I don't want to put on all that makeup
    Who says I must conceal what I'm made of
    Maybe all this Maybelline is covering my self-esteem.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Modern A Cappella with Peder Karlsson of The Real Group

Modern A Cappella with Peder Karlsson of The Real GroupSong Writing

The leader of the Modern A Cappella movement talks about the genre.

Jack Blades of Night Ranger and Damn Yankees

Jack Blades of Night Ranger and Damn YankeesSongwriter Interviews

Revisit the awesome glory of Night Ranger and Damn Yankees: cheesily-acted videos, catchy guitar licks, long hair, and lyrics that are just plain relatable.

70s Music Quiz 1

70s Music Quiz 1Music Quiz

The '70s gave us Muppets, disco and Van Halen, all which show up in this groovy quiz.

Emilio Castillo from Tower of Power

Emilio Castillo from Tower of PowerSongwriter Interviews

Emilio talks about what it's like to write and perform with the Tower of Power horns, and why every struggling band should have a friend like Huey Lewis.

Penny Ford of Snap!

Penny Ford of Snap!Songwriter Interviews

The original voice of Snap!, this story is filled with angry drag queens, video impersonators and Chaka Khan.

Marc Campbell - "88 Lines About 44 Women"

Marc Campbell - "88 Lines About 44 Women"They're Playing My Song

The Nails lead singer Marc Campbell talks about those 44 women he sings about over a stock Casio keyboard track. He's married to one of them now - you might be surprised which.