Alicia Keys has struggled with femininity, gay rumors, and her search for an authentic identity for years. And in doing so, Alicia reflects experiences growing up with which many women may identify.
For Keys, attention that made her feel different was not welcome, whether it was praise from teachers or men’s looks at her curvy figure. And so, she says in her reflections on femininity, Alicia deliberately dressed to disguise her body, reported Rolling Out.
In her post, which Alicia titled “A Revelation,” Keys tracks her desire to minimize certain aspects of herself to her school days. And in a dramatic contrast to what feminists tell women about being proud of their intelligence, Alicia felt embarrassed by it.
“It might have started in school when I realized that I caught on to things a little quicker, and teachers started to show slight favor to me, or use me as an example. I remember feeling like my friends would make fun of me or look at me as if I was different from them, and so… I started hiding,” penned Keys.
But she also felt upset by her femininity when men focused on her curves. Alicia deliberately donned her trademark loose-fitting denims and childish braids to look more like a tomboy than a siren. And just as she downplayed her intelligence in school, Keys hid her body.
“I started to notice a drastic difference in how men would relate to me if I had on jeans, or if I had on a skirt, or if my hair was done pretty,” recalled Alicia.
Alicia feared responses such as being followed or whistled at when she revealed her figure or had her hair styled. So Keys hid herself.
“I didn’t want to be talked to in that way, looked at in that way, whistled after, followed. And so I started hiding. I chose the baggy jeans and timbs, I chose the ponytail and hat, I chose no makeup, no bright color lipstick or pretty dresses. I chose to hide. Pieces at a time. Less trouble that way.”
But Alicia also felt uncomfortable when she read reports that she was gay and tough.
And so gradually, Keys came out of hiding and showed her femininity.
“Because of the way I spoke or carried myself, people started calling me gay and hard and I wasn’t gay, but I was hard and although I felt comfortable there, it made me uncomfortable that people were judging me and so slowly I hid that side of myself. I put on dresses and didn’t braid my whole head up, so people could see more of the ‘real’ me.”
But now Alicia has come to accept her “real” self and no longer feels the need to hide her wisdom or her beauty.
“I don’t have to hide anymore, I don’t have to pretend and hold back, I don’t have to think that my intelligence, beauty and sensuality are intimidating to others,” Keys asserted.
In addition, Alicia revealed that she still battles that desire to disguise herself, reported Star Pulse.
“To this day, every time I get out of the shower to get dressed, I swear the first thought that comes into my head is, what can I wear that won’t cause too much attention when I go pick up [my son] Egy, or head to the store, or go shopping, or visit a friend etc,” admitted Keys.
As the Inquisitr reported, Melissa Benoist recently revealed her own thoughts on femininity. Set to portray Supergirl, Melissa wants to combine her dance background with the strength of a superhero.
“I grew up as a dancer, so it feels like a leotard and skirt and tights that I wore when I was a ballerina,” explained Benoist. “What I think is cool is to try to bring kind of a femininity to her strength. You see Superman and it’s obviously this solid thing. But I do like the idea of bringing in like a grace to it. And a fluidity and kind of this femininity to flying. It’s fun.”
[Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images]