For celebrities, speaking out against injustices that affect them can end up reaching a broad audience of fans and make a real difference. Whether their messages are in support of charitable causes or against oppressive actions, using their platforms can bring awareness and create forward-thinking movements. Alicia Keys had one such a moment, that began with a personal conversation with her son. It led to a series of public posts on social media to speak out against gender norms. It also led to a heartwarming moment with a fan that gives us all hope that it only takes one pivotal conversation to make a difference.
The successful career that led to her stardom
Alicia Keys has 15 Grammy Awards and 29 nominations under her belt. Her soulful music and talent with the ivories also led her to explore the big screen, with roles in Smokin’ Aces (2006), The Secret Life of Bees (2006), and The Nanny Diaries (2007). She has also spent a little time behind the camera in directing one segment of the cable TV movie Five (2011). More recently, she’s enjoyed coaching up-and-coming new talent on the hit show, The Voice. She hosted the Grammy Awards ceremony last year and also recently published her new memoir, More Myself. With this much talent comes plenty of accolades and an ever-growing fan base.
What began with a parenting moment with her son
In addition to being a star, Alicia Keys is also a wife to DJ and producer Swizz Beatz, and mother to five children. Three are stepchildren she embraces as her own. Her two biological children are boys, Egypt Daoud Dean, born in 2010, and Genesis Ali Dean, born in 2014. It was a conversation with Genesis that struck a nerve with Keys. She shared the video called, “Less Labels, More Expressions,” and discussed just how excited her son was about getting his nails painted. But a few moments into their time at the nail salon, Genesis changed his mind and became leery of opting for the rainbow colors. He shared with his mom that he might be judged for his decision to do so. Keys was shocked that her young son, only four at the time, would be so aware of gender stereotyping.
Alicia Keys took to social media to speak out
The Grammy-winner took to Instagram about her parenting moment and challenged her fans to think less about labels. She posted, “Can you believe this? Four years old. He’s four!” She, of course, reassured her son at the time, that “a lot of guys paint their nails.” Alicia Keys also said she hopes more people will explore and encourage both masculine and feminine energies, without worrying about judgment or criticism.
The life-changing experience with one dedicated fan
Alicia Keys experienced a tender moment with a fan, as a positive result of her voicing her acceptance of gender neutrality. During an episode of Undercover Lyft Driver, Keys picks up a fan in the concrete jungle of Los Angeles, who upon learning the chauffeur’s true identity, immediately begins to share a few sentiments. This particular fan, who identifies as nonbinary, said it was touching and encouraging to see Keys use her platform of celebrity to call attention to the importance of diffusing gender stereotypes.
When celebrities use their fame and social platforms for good, it can be heartwarming for everyone. One message can impact a single individual, much like it did for the ukulele toting passenger on Undercover Lyft Driver or inspire an entire movement. It’s a responsibility that Alicia Keys takes seriously. And recently, she was able to see just how powerful her words can be.
I am a Talent Planning, Acquisition/Recruiting and Brand Management professional with 10 years experience. My appreciation for effective communication and passion for brand awareness and authenticity are what drive me to approach all that I do with a fresh perspective and an openness to new ideas. I have a passion for building strategic teams and empowering those around me to drive for results.
I am incredibly passionate about speaking to young women about being the best they can be. Empowering other women to be successful is something I work to do everyday, with both my team and with students that I meet.