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  • Alicia Keys asked her Instagram followers to think less about “labels” and more about “expressions” after her four-year-old son was embarassed to wear his rainbow manicure. 
  • Keys posted an Instagram video after her son, Genesis, implied he would be judged for his creative nail choice.
  • The singer was shocked to hear how early gender stereotyping becomes ingrained. 
  • “Can you believe this?” she asked. “Four years old. He’s four!”
  • After telling Genesis “a lot of guys get their nails painted,” the singer said her son felt a lot better. 
  • She now hopes more people will explore and embrace their “feminine and masculine energies” without fear of judgement.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Alicia Keys says more people should embrace their “feminine and masculine energies” after her four-year-old son told her he didn’t want to wear his rainbow manicure anymore. 

The singer, who is often outspoken about “impossible beauty standards,” took to Instagram on Sunday where she spoke of her “frustration” during a recent trip to the nail salon with her son, Genesis.

In a captioned: “Less Labels, More Expressions,” the singer said her young son was excited to get his nails painted.

“So he tells the lady that he wants rainbow colors on his nails. And she brings all of these colors and she paints each nail a different color,” she said.

“And after she painted his nails, he looked at me and he said, ‘Mommy, I don’t want this on my nails.'”

Keys continued: “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? 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.”

Alicia Keys insta

“He’s four!” said Keys in the Instagram video.
Alicia Keys / Instagram


In a bold show of support, Keys said she encouraged her son to “stick with it,” saying: “You chose it. You liked it. You do it. Who cares what anybody else says?”

After telling Genesis “a lot of guys paint their nails,” the singer said her son felt a lot better. 

Directly addressing her 17 million Instagram followers, Keys said she hopes more people will think less about gender stereotyping and instead “explore these different sides of ourselves.”

She went on to say she believes there are masculine and feminine energies inside of everyone.

“It gets concerning to me that we can’t just explore these different sides of ourselves,” she said.

“I oftentimes express the masculine energy that’s inside of me … and, all the time, if that happens, there’s the judgements, and there’s the stereotypes, and there’s all the energy that comes towards that.”

“And for my boys, [it’s] similar, if they want to express the feminine energy that’s inside of them. There’s all of these judgments, and all these rules, and stereotypes, and vibes.

“It’s really frustrating to me. I’m actually really, really frustrated about it.”

Keys finished the video by asking her followers what they think, and the responses were overwhelmingly positive towards her parenting style. 

One follower wrote: “This kid. This expression. This parenting. This thinking. THIS is the stuff that will change the world. For the better,” while another said: “I loved your feedback to him. So beautiful…” 

Showing equal support, Keys’ husband, music producer Swizz Beatz, wrote: “He’s a young King and he can explore and express his creativity at anytime! We support it as his parents.”

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