Alicia Keys, whose makeup-free face has become synonymous with the natural beauty movement, is learning there’s a lot more to real beauty than inspirational quotes. The singer has landed in hot water regarding her latest post — on Twitter and Instagram — that shows a portrait of a bikini-clad Marilyn Monroe flaunting her curves. Keys captioned the picture “Real bodies = gorgeous.” But as commenters are pointing out, there’s no one body that can define “real.”
Some are upset with Keys’s choice of words. “All bodies = gorgeous. Bodies w/ prosthetics = gorgeous. Amputees = gorgeous. People w/ cosmetic or health-related surgeries = gorgeous,” one person tweeted in response.
Others take issue with the use of Monroe to represent a real body. “Norma Jean aka Marilyn Munroe [sic] had numerous well-documented surgeries including nose job, breast implants. She also dyed her hair and changed her entire name. So what’s natural about that?” a commenter added on Instagram.” Another agreed, “Marilyn also had many plastic surgeries to fit beauty ideals of her day.”
However, Monroe’s physical alterations don’t make her body any less “real.” In fact, the portrait is a helpful reminder that even the world’s most famous beauty icon wouldn’t be “perfect” by today’s standards. But there are plenty of body-positive role models working to change the exacting standards of beauty. Why bother looking back?
Keys attempted to further prove her point with a few more tweets about the standard of beauty. “Perfection is a standard that will never be reached, so why change what you were born with to try and reach ‘perfection,'” she wrote. She also shared her frustrations about the “limits” of the accepted ideal of beauty. “Be confident with what you were born with! You were born beautiful no matter what limitations society puts on beauty” she wrote, followed up with: “Realize that beauty comes in all shapes, colors, and sizes! There are no limits to beauty!”
With her public decision to stop wearing makeup on the red carpet, Alicia Keys has become a voice for the natural beauty movement. It’s only logical that her next step would be accepting her body as it is and encouraging others to do the same. (Perhaps a #NoSpanx on the red carpet movement will be next?) Her post may have been a dip into the body-positive waters, and let’s hope the harsh criticism won’t scare her away for good.
Read more from Yahoo Style + Beauty:
- Alicia Keys Clarifies Her Comments on Makeup
- Alessia Cara and Alicia Keys Are Both Very Committed to Their Makeup-Free Pledges
- How a Body Positive Blogger Stopped Trolls in Their Tracks With 1 Bikini Pic