Earlier this week, singer Alicia Keys went on a now-viral ‘rant’ on Instagram to express her frustration over labels and gender stereotypes
“The other day, I went to the nail salon with Genesis. He’s in the chair, and he’s like ‘I want rainbow.’ So he tells the lady that he wants rainbow colors on his nails,” she began. “After she painted his nails, he looked at me and said, ‘Mommy, I don’t want this on my nails…People are not gonna like it,”‘ she continued.
Keys then revealed that her son, despite his initial excitement and assuredness, was worried his colorful nails may subject him to negative, unwarranted attention from people. “He’s four years old, and he already understands the concept that people are going to judge him because he chose rainbow colors on his nails,” she said.
Although the Grammy Award-winning artist comforted her son and encouraged him to freely express himself, his initial response admittedly disheartened her. Keys went on to explain the troubling issue with people judging and labeling others based on how they look, act, dress. etc — and that it’s OK to explore both the masculine and feminine energies inside of you regardless of how you self identify.
Keys’ parenting techniques garnered much praise and attention — with one of her biggest, and proudest, supporters being her husband, Swizz Beatz.
My wife had an honest message, and I support her message — but everybody needs to relax. Relax, look in the mirror, fix yourself up and be the best that you can be,” the producer told AOL’s Tatiana Pile.
As proud as he was of his wife for defending their son in a time “where people want to put labels on people within 60 seconds of knowing about something,” he also expressed how continually impressed he is by his son.
“Genesis is probably one of my toughest kids. I’ve never seen a tougher kid than him,” he said. “But he should be allowed to express himself, however. I look at him, and I’m like okay, he wants to do one thing one day and then the next day he’s on the dirt bike doing something else,” he continued.
The two have long been advocates for marginalized groups. In 2014, the couple launched The Dean Collection, a family-run art collection and creative platform to uplift underrepresented communities in the art world.
This year, the collection is collaborating with American Express and Marriott Bonvoy during Art Week Miami to showcase their new “Women in Art” platform.