Sometimes even the best of intentions go awry.

That’s why I’m suggesting that everyday females – especially young women – stop looking at those No Makeup selfies that celebrities post on social media and expect them to make us feel good.


Like I said, this started with a positive objective. The talented Alicia Keys decided she was no longer going to stress about being photographed without makeup. The pressure to have that made-up perfection anytime she was not home got to be too much. Besides being a successful entertainer, Keys is mom to two young children, so no doubt there are days she’s juggling too much to want to bother with the perfect look before stepping outdoors.

After seeing a photo of herself with a bare face, Keys decided she looked just fine and wasn’t going to wear makeup all the time anymore. Her bare-faced photographs gained notice and before long a new trend, #NoMakeup, caught fire.

All sorts of female celebrities started posting selfies supposedly without makeup. (I’ve seen a few where I have my doubts no makeup is involved.) Clean faces, bed head, we are seeing it all – well, facially – from women who grace fashion magazines, sing chart-topping hits and star in movies.

“I hope to God it’s a revolution,” Keys told the Huffington Post. “’Cause I don’t want to cover up anymore.”

Sure there are the self-assured females among us who never took much stock in makeup or what famous women look like. But right now we’re living in times when the fascination with celebrities is so pervasive, and there are legions of young girls and women who’ve gotten it into their heads that the stars are who we all should want to be. To them these #NoMakeup selfies convey the message that when the makeup’s off maybe we aren’t all that different from celebrities after all.

And that’s why I gotta call for a timeout.

Because if you really look at these #NoMakeup selfies, you’ll notice that while there isn’t makeup, there’s also nary an uncoiffed eyebrow in the bunch. We’re also looking at skin that no doubt gets the best treatments with top products. Might some of these celebrities have benefited from cosmetic dentistry? A few have used positioning and lighting to their advantage. (In hers, Salma Hayek tells you what’s not there and confesses, “But good light.”)

Here’s what else we seem to have overlooked: these are unadorned photos of women who make their living off their faces. They are blessed with Hollywood and the fashion industry’s idea of a good-looking, sometimes beautiful face to begin with; no wonder they look just fine without makeup.

What too many women also are forgetting is the most important step that Keys took: she gazed at a photo of herself, not another entertainer or a model or anyone else, and decided, hey I am OK with how I look. That, to me, is the key (no pun intended) here: Keys made peace and accepted her features, including any imperfections.

So to the young girls and women who are holding up bare-faced photos of themselves and judging them against the beautiful entertainers of our day sans makeup, I say: stop. It’s no surprise you feel miserable after looking at Gigi Hadid or Jourdan Dunn and think you don’t measure up. Who wouldn’t?

If hyper-inspecting your photo is what you must do – another product of our times – then do it; but embrace the uniqueness that is you.

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