We all have our insecurities, but there’s always something particularly interesting and inspiring about celebrities who choose to let their guards down and get real about their issues and missteps. Perhaps it’s because we live in a society that worships public figures and views them as superhuman.
In a personal blog post titled A Revelation, Grammy Award-winning singer Alicia Keys discussed overcoming her own personal demons and insecurities. She begins:
For as long as I can remember, I’ve hidden myself. It might have started in school when I realized that I caught on to things a little quicker, and teachers started to show slight favor to me, or use me as an example. I remember feeling like my friends would make fun of me or look at me as if I was different from them and so… I started hiding. Not intentionally, I didn’t mean to, but I did. Little pieces at a time.
I definitely started hiding when I got old enough to walk down my NY streets alone. I started to notice a drastic difference in how men would relate to me if I had on jeans, or if I had on a skirt, or if my hair was done pretty. I could tell the difference, I could feel the animal instinct in them and it scared me. I didn’t want to be talked to in that way, looked at in that way, whistled after, followed. And so I started hiding. I chose the baggy jeans and Timbs, I chose the ponytail and hat, I chose no makeup, no bright color lipstick or pretty dresses. I chose to hide. Pieces at a time. Less trouble that way.
Sadly, the mother of two’s attempts to hide herself didn’t end at childhood.
I remember feeling that same way when I first started to get recognized as an artist. I had the baggy/braided/tough NY tomboy thing mastered, that was who I was (or who I chose to be) and I felt good there. Then, because of the way I spoke or carried myself, people started calling me gay and hard and I wasn’t gay, but I was hard and although I felt comfortable there, it made me uncomfortable that people were judging me and so slowly I hid that side of myself. I put on dresses and didn’t braid my whole head up, so people could see more of the “real” me, even though at that point I’m sure I was more confused than ever of what the real me was.
Her post continues:
I became comfortable hiding, my intelligence, my physical appearance, my truths, my thoughts, myself.
To this day, every time I get out of the shower to get dressed, I swear the first thought that comes into my head is, what can I wear that won’t cause too much attention when I go pick up Egy, or head to the store, or go shopping, or visit a friend, etc.
Thankfully, there’s a happy ending to this story. At age 34, the activist has learned to stop dimming her light.
And just the other day it hit me! OMG! Alicia!!! Why are you choosing to be that person?? That is so old and outdated!! STOP!!
I don’t have to try to go unnoticed
I don’t have to fit in
I don’t have to close up my thoughts and only speak my truth through songs!
I can speak it every day
I can totally relate to this post, as I feel that there was a time in my life when I, too, felt that I needed to shrink and hide myself. Thank God for revelation.
Check out Alicia’s full blog post here. Are you able to relate?