Alicia Keys has returned to music and ushered in a makeup-free look along with it, but her new beauty trend seems to extend to her only as far as the internet is concerned. During a recent trip to Cancun, Lil’ Mama posted videos and selfies sporting a similar all-natural look. One showed her hair styled in two twisted pigtails, her face sans makeup.
The image was shared on Twitter and users were not praising the look.
One person compared her to a CGI character from the 2004 Christmas movie, The Polar Express.
Lil Mama looks like the little girl from Polar Express. pic.twitter.com/OzW2Fp2H88
— Jules (@livinglikejulia) June 3, 2016
Another stated she looked like Bow Wow’s character from 2002’s Like Mike.
Lil mama looking like Calvin Cambridge from Like Mike pic.twitter.com/zcJli2upWR
— Summer B (@_summerrella_) June 3, 2016
Still, one user believed if the star of 2013’s CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story simply put her hair in a bun, the Twitter storm would have been avoided.
All lil mama had to do was put her hair in a bun ? should've known y'all was gone try her with them two plats
— ✨CHO⚡️EN✨ (@LashedByBenzo) June 4, 2016
Backlash on social media caused the rapper, whose real name is Niatia Kirkland, to remove the image. But in response, she posted this message on Instagram June 2.
The criticism aimed at the 26-year-old Brooklyn, New York native starkly contrasts with the praise 35-year-old Keys earned. The singer wrote about her decision to ditch beauty products in favor of embracing her natural appearance.
“Every time I left the house, I would be worried if I didn’t put on makeup,” Keys writes on Lenny Letter. “What if someone wanted a picture?? What if they POSTED it??? These were the insecure, superficial, but honest thoughts I was thinking. And all of it, one way or another, was based too much on what other people thought of me.”
For a photo shoot for her upcoming album, Keys writes she came straight from the gym in a headscarf when the photographer named Paula said, “I have to shoot you right now, like this! The music is raw and real, and these photos have to be too!”
The star said, “It is the strongest, most empowered, most free, and most honestly beautiful that I have ever felt.” She decided to continue to perform without makeup and her new image was praised online.
One user gushed about her fresh-faced look.
— Sylvia Obell (@SylviaObell) June 2, 2016
Another praised the Hell’s Kitchen, New York native for inspiring insecure girls.
It makes me happy to see Alicia Keys inspiring insecure girls like me by making this era about not wearing makeup pic.twitter.com/lM7LemNJQT
— be (@imkeysaf) May 31, 2016
And this user hopes Keys continues to ditch makeup.
I hope Alicia Keys stays barefaced because she is even more beautiful without makeup. Seriously.
— Lil Eish ❁ (@_SaysAiesha) June 8, 2016