Alicia Keys and Alessia Cara were twinning at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards last night. Cara opted for jeans, sneakers, and a camo top, while Keys went with a Just Cavalli long-sleeved, printed maxi dress and a messy braided topknot. While their outfits were definitely different, both female singers showed up sans makeup, rocking the red carpet casually but still stunning.
Cara, 20, made a commitment to remove all traces of makeup every time she performs her “Scars to Your Beautiful,” a promise she kept last night when she opened the VMAs preshow with the song. “We all look at ourselves in the mirror and think, I hate this, I wish that were different — from something minor like ‘I have a pimple today’ to something major like ‘I don’t want to live anymore because I don’t think I’m good enough,’” Cara said in Glamour’s September issue. “In ‘Scars,’ I wanted to tell people, ‘There isn’t one way to look beautiful—you are beautiful, and it’s the world that needs to change.’ ”
Keys has been going makeup-free for a while now, ever since writing that Lenny Letter about the constraints of needing cosmetics all the time. She’s gone makeup-free to every event she has attended, even judging The Voice with a bare face. But little did she know the up-and-coming singer would join her makeup-free movement at one of the most extravagant music events of the year — where snakes around your neck and meat dresses are normal, but no makeup is shocking.
In honor of the 53rd anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Keys broke out in poem and song about equality before presenting the best male video award.
And just like her speech last night, these words from her Lenny Letter will stick with us: “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.”