Brand Lessons From Pop Culture: Alicia Keys Bare Face And How It Can Empower Your Business
Three months later and once again we are buzzing about Alicia Keys' #nomakeup movement and how she showed up to the VMAs looking like she decided to stop by Madison Square Garden on her way to her neighborhood Fairway Market. Rightfully so, Alicia's decision to be unapologetically herself and to stop living up to the requirements placed on her as a celebrity is probably gaining her more social media impressions than the release of Empire State of Mind.
Three months ago to the day, Alicia Keys announced her #nomakeup movement via a personal essay on Lenny Letter and the world received it with mix emotions. Some viewed it as a positive stand to teach girls the importance of loving themselves as they are while others felt it was a publicity stunt to garner hype for her new album. Regardless of how you felt when you first heard about the #nomakeup movement, you have to admit, Alicia with no makeup has everyone turning heads.
Every time she has been interviewed, photoed on a red carpet or performed - the conversation has been turned towards her look. And it is not just by mainstream media - bloggers, fans, fellow celebrities and her "haters" are all a part of Alicia's no makeup decision.
One of the most interesting questions I have seen (over a dozen times) is "when did natural start meaning unkept?".
And me...being me... wonders, "who defines 'unkept'?". Isn't that defined by the user of the term? In complete honesty, when Alicia took her no make up stance this is exactly what I expected. Stop looking at your screen like that! I really did! And don't forget this is a #nojudgementzone hmph *sips wine* We all know she is an Afrocentric soul child. I mean she did name her kid Egypt. If you believed Alicia Keys was anything other than Erykah Badu twice removed that is YOUR bad. And while I am at it let me say, I am here for Mrs. Dean and her #nomakeup self.
No, seriously - I am!
While Alicia's #nomakeup movement may be ruffling some feathers, it also says, "honey, stop doing it for them, and do what's best for you". How many times have you had an amazing message that you wanted to share with your village and thought "OMG, I look a mess - I'll share this tomorrow." then tomorrow comes and you've completely forgotten the message? Oh, so y'all gonna act like that only happens to me? There have been plenty of times I've done that and I am not ashamed to admit it. Yet in still, I have always wondered and raised an eyebrow at the women who show up every day, face beat for the gawds - just to post a ten-minute Facebook Live or show up on Periscope. That has to be exhausting.
If for no other reason than liberation, Alicia Keys is giving her approval on being unapologetically you. And this is a lesson that we all need a daily dose of.
Trust me when I tell you, it's totally okay to allow your village to see you in your authentic form - sans makeup. In fact, some of my faves on social media rarely show up on Snapchat, InstaStories, Facebook Live or Periscope as they look for their blog posts or marketing photos, and I totally love them for it. Showing up in full glam can give your village a false impression of what running a successful online empire looks like. Of course, if your business is beauty then you may be having a hell no moment and I completely get that! How about we compromise? Rather than full beat face, how about going for a basic BB cream, mascara, and nude lip?
Brand Lesson: Authenticity in business is the competitive edge your business is waiting on and rather than ripping Alicia Keys apart for her #nomakeup stand, let's applaud her tenacity to be unapologetically the afro-hippie-soul-singing-rockstar she desires to be!
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