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Tuesday, May 31, 2016 4:13pm ET by  
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Alicia Keys writes empowering essay: 'I don't want to cover up anymore'

'Girl On Fire' sensation Alicia Keys has revealed that going make-up free for a photoshoot was incredibly empowering and helped her to shake off the pressure to be seen as "perfect" all the time. 

She wrote a post for the Lenny newsletter about the overwhelming pressure she felt to look perfect and explained that she hated feeling as though she had to be a certain way in order to be successful or praised, or even just accepted:

"Before I started my new album, I wrote a list of all the things that I was sick of. And one was how much women are brainwashed into feeling like we have to be skinny, or sexy, or desirable, or perfect. All of it is so frustrating and so freakin' impossible."

Keys confessed that she decided to schedule a photoshoot just after a gym session as she knew she would be in a very natural state: "I was shocked. Instantly, I became a bit nervous and slightly uncomfortable. My face was totally raw. I had on a sweatshirt! (But) I swear it is the strongest, most empowered, most free, and most honestly beautiful that I have ever felt."

She added: "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."

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