When Alicia Keys made the decision to be photographed makeup-free, she was hesitant. The singer had just come from the gym to a press shoot—hair up, face bare—but photographer Paola Kudacki insisted, saying Keys looked as raw and real as her music. "Now?" the singer resisted. "Like right now? I want to be real, but this might be too real!" But she obliged anyway—and felt stronger than she ever had before.
Keys recently wrote an essay for Lena Dunham's Lenny Letter about the pressures she felt to seem flawless. From combing her frizzy hair into a bun in second grade, to feeling unseen alongside the makeup-covered girls in her junior high class, Keys said she'd long felt the need to "cover up to be a bit closer to perfect." And when she made her way into the music industry, the pressures only increased.
"This was the harsh, judgmental world of entertainment and my biggest test yet," she wrote. "I started, more than ever, to become a chameleon. Never fully being who I was, but constantly changing so all the 'they's' would accept me." That's why Kudacki's request to capture her exactly as she was was so difficult for Keys. "I was shocked," she said. "Instantly, I became a bit nervous and slightly uncomfortable. My face was totally raw. I had on a sweatshirt! As far as I was concerned, this was my quick run-to-the-shoot-so-I-can-get-ready look, not the actual photo-shoot look ... And that was it. She started to shoot me."
Keys said she looks back on that moment with nothing but positivity: "I swear it [was] the strongest, most empowered, most free, and most honestly beautiful that I have ever felt." She forced herself to let go of the nagging pressures—the desire to take the perfect photo and the worries of what others would think—and be herself for a few moments. And she never looked back.
"I hope to God it’s a revolution," she wrote. "'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."
RCA / Paola Kudacki
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Photo Credit: Instagram / @therealswizzz
Original article and pictures take http://www.self.com/trending/2016/05/alicia-keys-looks-unreal-in-this-stunning-no-makeup-photo/?utm_content=buffer6ee67&utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest.com&utm_campaign=buffer site