Alicia Keys’ No Make-Up Movement

by Korrien Hopkins

Eva Rinaldi [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Alicia Keys is an American singer, songwriter, pianist, and actress. The Girl on Fire singer has been generously blessing our souls with her soulful realness and insanely amazing vocal and pianist skills since the early 2000s. Today, you can find her bare faced and beautiful. Alicia Keys is helping to spread the “No Makeup Movement” to encourage young women to feel comfortable in their own skin.  She launched this campaign late last year. She wrote in her Lenny Letter essay,

“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.”

She has been spreading the word of her campaign on NBC’s hit show The Voice, where she is a coach. She has been hitting the red carpets flaunting her radiant glow of self-love and acceptance. She makes It very clear that she doesn’t want her message to be confused with her being anti make-up. Of course, not everyone is as accepting of themselves or by society. Alicia Keys is a lighter complexion black female displaying fairly European features that are praised in this white-washed society. And of course, unlike her, not every woman has access to high end facial products and dermatologist she may use. Even without being accepted by society, or having perfectly clear skin it is important that women love and accept themselves unapologetically.

Those with minor skin conditions have many small things that can be done to help alleviate skin issues, which can in turn boost your confidence and overall health of your skin. Alicia Keys said that eliminating dairy from her diet contributed to her acne-free skin. I am a witness to this first hand. On my journey to veganism, I slowly eliminated dairy from my diet and saw drastic changes. Also drinking tons of water has helped. As women, we are pressured to look a certain way all the time and from experience, I know how frustrating it is to get asked, “Are you sick?” and hearing, “You look really tired” (which I may be, since I’m a college student and all) on the day I decided not to wear makeup.

Alicia Keys proves women can skip the make-up, whether its to enjoy those few extra minutes in bed, or to let their skin breathe. I love makeup, I literally get to paint my face and I thoroughly enjoy it. On days I feel down, doing my makeup helps lift my spirits because, in my opinion, any form of art heals. Alicia Keys’ no makeup movement has helped me to embrace my natural beauty. Its easy to use this movement to compare to your bare face to others, but that does more hurt than harm. Highlight and contour should not be a requirement to feel beautiful. So, I salute those who join the movement if even for a day as well as those who don’t. In the words of Beyoncé, I enjoy waking up and going to class saying, “I woke up like this.” In all reality, do what makes you happy and not society, and do it unapologetically so.

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Dairy and Skin Issues:          


Self Love Tips:

If you are at the beach, your body is beach ready.

By Mirella Flores

summer-timeSummer is quickly approaching, and with it an influx of articles on how to get that “summer body.” I am all for taking care of your body, including being more conscious of what you eat and drink and exercising. What disturbs me about these types of articles are not the tips they give, but rather the message they convey – Your body is wrong and you need to fix it.

No. Your body is not wrong. Society is wrong. There is a difference between taking care of your body and fixating on “improving” it. If it is summer, your body is summer ready. If you are at the beach, your body is beach ready. Unfortunately, I cannot control the hurtful messages out there, but I can provide you with a couple of articles that may help you reclaim your body.

11 Easy Things You Can Do When You’re Just Not Feeling Yourself. As the title gives away, this article contains 11 things you can do start feeling yourself again. Numbers 5, 6, and 7 are some of my favorites. Number five is “Give yourself a pep talk you would give your best friend.” Yes, feel free to go Leslie Knope on yourself.

The Cognitive Triangle

The Cognitive Triangle

Number six is “Do something that tests your strength, endurance, or coordination.” Instead of trying to “fix” your body, doing something that tests your body’s ability would help you appreciate your body for what it can do. Number seven, “Come up with a badass mantra that actually gets you pumped up,” is something I use in my work with clients (as a counselor). This tip is effective because it taps into the “thoughts” of the cognitive triangle (see right). Allow me to get into counselor mode. Our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are connected. The idea under telling ourselves a positive mantra is that we are controlling our thoughts, which then will affect our emotions and actions.

10 Little Spells That’ll Help Send Love To Your Body. Again, the title of this article is self-explanatory. Whether or not you are doing working for a flatter belly, take some time and do the spell for your abs, “Blow up a bunch of balloons to different sizes (or you can use bubble wrap) and attach them to your body, like you’re creating a balloon body suit. Jump up and down, dance, and roll around in your balloon armor because your belly is a beautiful shield that can expand and flex and handle a lot of crazy things that we don’t give enough credit for.” Silly I know, but no judgement whether you do it or not. The point here is to take some time to appreciate our abs (because we all have abs) and other body parts… you can have some fun with it!

Stop body shaming others and yourself. Get out there and enjoy the warm weather and water, or whatever outdoors activity you want to do.

How CrossFit helped me love my body

By Mirella Flores

For years I struggled with an eating disorder. It started with me restricting food and evolved into a cycle of restricting, binging on food (like anything I could get a hold of), and doing cardio for hours. My journey to recovery has been long and hard. Even when I was at a point where I no longer was engaging in disordered eating, I still struggled with my body.


Source: CrossFitMatters Instagram

As a cisgender woman, I have been socialized to base myself worth on the appearance of my body and being sexually desirable to others. While I was working towards recovery, I was with a partner who was very affirming of my body. This helped me start to believe that my body is great and beautiful just how it is. However, I was still relying on someone else’s opinion of my body to feel good. I still can not say that I do not care what others think of my body, but I can surely say I have learned to value my body in a different way.

When I moved to Kansas City in 2014 for graduate school, someone asked me what I liked to do for self-care (if you’re a counseling psychologist or trainee, you are probably used to being asked that question). I told her I liked working out and she suggested I try CrossFit. I had grown bored of my gym routine (running and doing some weight lifting), so I told myself, “Why not?” I joined CrossFit Matters, and during my first day heard about the holistic approach they take to fitness. Being aware of my eating disorder history, I knew this would be a good change.

CrossFit showed me that I am competing against myself and nobody else. It also showed me that this too, like recovering from an eating disorder, was a journey into learning about my body. As CrossFit pushed me physically and mentally, I came to notice and appreciate my body for what it does. Yes, I have noticed my body change, but that is not what I have come to value. I have come to value my body because of what it is capable of doing. Every time I break a personal record, I am even more amazed with the functionality of my body and my own dedication. I rejoice, not because of how my body looks like, but because of what it does. I have not been alone in this journey. I have had other athletes and coaches be as excited as I am. CrossFit has given me a supportive community that encourages each other to keep discovering our strengths and improving our skills. Without my body being properly fueled, I wouldn’t be able to continue amazing myself by breaking a personal record!

 CrossFit helped me love my body and improve my self-image. What has helped you appreciate your body?