Alicia Keys responds to criticism after attending MTV VMAs with no make-up

She is not 'anti-makeup'

Olivia Blair
Wednesday 31 August 2016 13:24
Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys has responded to the debate sparked by her attendance at the MTV Video Music Awards without wearing make-up.

The “Fallin” singer has made a series of fresh-faced public appearances after writing an essay in June explaining her reasons for no longer choosing to wear makeup.

After appearing regularly on American TV screens in her new role as a judge on the The Voice, she attended the VMAs on Sunday evening make-up free. At the high-profile award ceremony, Keys walked the red carpet with her producer husband Swiss Beatz and delivered a rousing poem to mark the 53rd anniversary of Martin Luther King's 'I have a Dream' speech .

The pictures of Keys at the awards sparked a debate and mixed response with many of her fans praising her courage. Unfortunately, others shamed her with misogynistic comments and some pitted her against other women in a competition of who is the most feminist and/or empowering. Case in point, Piers Morgan:

Following the huge amount of discussion generated by Key’s decision, she clarified her position on Tuesday:

Swiss Beatz also defended his wife in a reflective video post on Instagram on Tuesday. He questioned why people were “mad” at Keys given it is her face and therefore does not affect anyone else directly.


“You can do whatever you want to do, she didn’t tell you to wear no make-up,” he said. “She just said she’s not vibing with the make-up, all the way, 100 per cent. That’s her thing that she wants to do.”


In Keys’ essay for Lena Dunham’s Lenny newsletter, the 36-year-old said she was tired of “the constant judgement of women” and said she was constantly fearful of being judged if she was to be photographed not wearing any make-up. After gaining confidence she made the decision to not wear make-up and said it resulted in her feeling “the strongest, most empowered, most free and most honestly beautiful that I have ever felt”.

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