More and more, artists are leveraging the massive reach of award shows to make their stances on political and social issues known. Case in point: Jess Glynne's BRIT Awards 2019 performance, which saw the singer and fellow chanteuse, H.E.R., remove their makeup alongside a legion of other women on-stage in a powerful statement that conveyed that women are enough and beautiful, just as they are. Award shows are peak opportunities for celebrities to pull out all of the stops in terms of both fashion and beauty, and it's still rare to see a female celebrity arrive bare-faced. Earlier this month, Alicia Keys hosted the 2019 Grammys completely void of bold makeup and singer Alessia Cara is also known to walk red carpets au naturale. But aside from those and a handful of other examples, you'd be hard pressed to find female celebs rocking a naked face on the red carpet.
This is why Glynne and H.E.R.'s moment of female solidarity, which came while the two performers were singing their duet, "Thursday," was so very powerful. "Sometimes I try to embrace all my insecurities/ So I won’t wear makeup on Thursday/ ’Cause who I am is enough,” sang Glynne as she removed her false eyelashes and wiped away her makeup with a cloth round.
Behind the two singers, an army of women seated in rows in front of neon ring lights followed suit, wiping away their own brightly applied mascara, eyeliner, lipstick, what have you, and revealing their bare skin. Their faces were projected on a giant screen above the stage, giving those in the audience a clear view of their actions. All of the women on stage including Glynne and H.E.R. were dressed in white, the color of women's suffrage, and together they looked like a group of literal angels.
Glynne was nominated for an impressive four honors at the Brit Awards, including Best British Single for both "These Days" and "I'll Be There," Best British Female Solo Artist, and Best British Video. While she didn't take any of the awards home with her, she certainly gave an impactful performance far more meaningful than any trophy could be.
The unrealistic beauty standards that are still pushed upon women by the media need to be crushed and one of the most powerful and effective ways for that to happen is for women like Glynne who are in the spotlight to denounce them. Women don't need to wear makeup to be beautiful and our beauty choices should be up to us and based on what makes us feel good, not what we think others want to see. "There's a pressure in society to make you feel like you have to wear a thick layer of make-up, a beautiful heel or a mini-skirt. That's not who I am, I need to feel comfortable," Glynne told Femail in an interview in late 2018.
Here's to strong women who recognize their place of power and use it to progress positive change. What a beautiful thing!