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Alicia Keys, Make-up, and Me

As I watched Alicia Keys on the Today show the other day.

I watched her make-up-less face and listened to the words that I felt were coming from a most genuine place in her heart.

Several years ago, I had a boyfriend who always called me Alicia. He said I looked like her. Although I thought she was beautiful, I couldn’t see it so I thought it was interesting that in the years that followed others said the same.

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Yes? No? I was flattered either way because I not only see her beauty. But I admire her talent (I’m differently talented though) and her authenticity.

With her make-up free movement, she is demonstrating a tremendous amount of self-love, self-confidence, and bravery. She doesn’t knock people for wearing make-up. She is simply demonstrating to girls and women everywhere that you are fine without it.

In my first book, I describe how I used make-up (applied horribly in my ignorance) to try to hide my face. To cover my acne and not to “enhance” my beauty because I didn’t feel I had any beauty to enhance. Knowing that Alicia Keys has dealt with acne too and now wears no make-up is empowering in itself.

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I like make-up and wear it on occasion, but I feel free using it to enhance the beauty that I now, as a confident, adult woman, know that I have.

In her Today Show interview, she said something that really stuck with me and epitomizes who I am today versus who I was as a girl and even just a little bit younger woman seeking the approval of others.

“Be yourself. Do what makes you feel good. Stop trying to please every damn body.”
Yep, I can do that.



I’m Summer Owens, and my passion is helping youth and young adults realize success no matter what obstacles they face. As an international resilience and leadership keynote speaker, author, S.O. What! Success Coach, and creator of the S.O. What! Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education curriculum, I empower people to say, “So what!” to even their greatest challenges.  provide a framework to help people see past their challenges and focus on solutions using the S.O. What! Success System (Overcome Obstacles + Eliminate Excuses + Calculate Choices = S.O. What! Success). Through keynotes, workshops, books, online courses, and workbooks, I use life’s challenges and my own story of resilience as a rape survivor and teen mom success story to help others confidently pursue their dreams.

Looking for an inspiring college motivational speaker? A high school literacy curriculum? A middle school life skills workbook? A great example for teen mothers? A women’s empowerment or single mother’s conference speaker?  I’m your girl and will help any audience say, “S.O. What!”.