Singer and former The Voice judge Alicia Keys is calling on society to stop judging others for how they want to present themselves. In a November 10th Instagram video, Keys noted she’s “Been thinking about how over-labeled and over-judged we all are,” and used an experience she had with her son Genesis to show just how potent societal judgments really are.
“The other day, I went to the nail salon with Genesis,” Keys started off her Instagram video, which she captioned “Less Labels, More Expressions.” “So he tells the lady he wants rainbow colors on his nails. And she brings all of these colors and she paints each nail a different color. And after she painted his nails, he looked at me and he said, ‘Mommy, I don’t want this on my nails.’ And I was like, ‘Why? You were so sure. You were good.’ And he was like, ‘People are not gonna like it.'”
“Can you believe this?” Keys said. “Four years old. He’s four and he already understands the concept that someone’s going to judge him because he chose rainbow colors on his nails.”
Keys said she told Genesis to “stick with” his decision to paint his nails rainbow. “You chose it. You liked it. You do it,” she said in the video. And after telling him that so many other boys and men paint their nails, too, Genesis became more confident in his decision.
After having to convince her son to keep his painted nails, Keys began to think more about how “completely judged” we all are, “all the time.”
“The way I see it,” she continued, “there is masculine and there are feminine energies inside of us all, period. It gets concerning to me that we can’t just explore these different sides of ourselves. These different energies that are within us.”
She added that she, too, often expresses the masculine energy inside of her and deals with the judgmental blowback, and feels frustrated having to watch her boys go through the same thing when they choose to express their feminine energies.
“Why can’t we just express the different energies that are inside us?” Keys asked, noting that doing so is a very “normal, ancient, powerful, and spiritual understanding.”
She called her video a “rant,” but we’re calling it a sermon. Amen, Alicia—we could not agree with you more. Judging others’ decisions that have no impact on our own lives is unnecessary. If we all practiced the “you do you” mentality, the world would be a much more accepting place.