With a slew of new music and powerful makeup-free photos — Alicia Keys is back on top of her game!
The 35-year-old beauty recently spilled her heart in a Lenny Letter talking about learning to embrace imperfections instead of being ruled by judgement.
From growing up in the "tough" streets of NYC to transitioning into the "harsh, judgmental world of entertainment," the In Common singer wrote about the moments "where some piece of you realizes that to fit in or be thought of as beautiful, you have to cover up to be a bit closer to perfect."
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"I started, more than ever, to become a chameleon. Never fully being who I was, but constantly changing so all the 'they's' would accept me."
DJ Khaled would advise to stay away from "they" — as we all know!
But Miz Keys said when she started her new album, she spent time figuring out her world impact:
"Before I started my new album, I wrote a list of things that I was sick of. And one was how much women are brainwashed into feeling like we have to be skinny, or sexy, or desirable, or perfect. One of the many things I was tired of was the constant judgment of women. All of it is so frustrating and so freakin' impossible."
Swizz Beatz's other half admitted she had to overcome her "insecure, superficial, but honest" fear of being photographed without the graces of makeup when photographer Paola Kudacki insisted on a natural shoot.
"Instantly, I became a bit nervous and slightly uncomfortable. My face was totally raw. I had on a sweatshirt!"
But at the end of the day, she thinks it might be her best work yet:
"I swear it is the strongest, most empowered, most free, and most honestly beautiful that I have ever felt. I felt powerful because my initial intentions realized themselves. My desire to listen to myself, to tear down the walls I built over all those years, to be full of purpose, and to be myself! I hope to God it's a revolution. 'Cause I don't want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing."
We think we all could learn a lesson from this QUEEN!
Tags: alicia keys, girl power, inspiration, lenny letter