Singer and songwriter Alicia Keys is very transparent about her career and personal life. Whereas some artists dance around social questions, Alicia chooses to dive right in with insight on the subject at hand. The singer recently dived into the subjects of motherhood and body image during a discussion with Lifetime's "The Conversation."
On why she named her son 'Egypt':
"Well, Egypt was a really big important trip for me in my life. It came at a certain point where I had been working just endlessly and I really had no idea what it was to take a true vacation and it came to a place where I just really needed it or be on the verge of a break down. So when I went, it was such an uplifting, eye opening, historic, powerful and re-genitive experience that I hold a very fond place for Egypt. So when it came to naming our baby, I fell in love with it, we both loved it and decided like months before he was born."
On how her body has changed since giving birth and the effects of breastfeeding
"I think that [my body has] changed in so many ways. I was thinking about this the other day; we were just saying that your body does things that it would have never done before. It’s a miracle and incredible; bones and structures of your body move to new places! It’s like how? Then I also breastfed; I don’t know if it’s a total myth but when you breast feed you kind of lose weight quicker."
I loved it. Well, there were a couple of things no one told you. I took this whole class too which I thought was really good because I think a lot of people think you’re just supposed to have this natural instinct that’s suppose to happen out of thin air. There’s a technique to learn and if you don’t know it, it’s not your fault. I was glad I did that because I felt kind of prepared a little bit. The whole engorgement thing, no one mentioned that part.
I remember I was in the bed and I couldn’t move because it hurts and there is no way around it. I delivered naturally and I kept asking myself, “What is wrong with you”? You spent hours and hours in labor and delivered naturally but you can’t take some [milk coming in.] They skipped that part; they didn’t tell me about that one.
On body image and society's stereotype of older women
"Well, I think that we as females are like the most beautiful, gorgeous creatures on the world and I think that we’re gorgeous no matter what size that we are. In fact, I personally think that we are more beautiful when we are a bit thicker, bigger and more robust. I just think it’s gorgeous. Even seeing older sculptures from past centuries and you see the women very thick and very beautiful and I personally, think it’s really, really gorgeous. I’m grateful that I actually feel like that because I think that a lot of us feel as though we have to be some little, tiny size in order to be beautiful. It’s like, we’re beautiful not because of what size we are, we’re beautiful because of how your mind works and you’re beautiful because you have this gorgeous heart and that comes from way more than you fitting in some size two dress.
And we’re beautiful because of all these things that come up and tumble out of us and that’s beautiful because I just always feel like I love being a woman. I really love it. Then there’s the other side of being body consciousness, age consciousness, which I think is another one ridiculously pressed upon women, whereas men can become old, refined and gray and they are suddenly so handsome. But a woman becomes gray and she’s old and that’s so not true. What I've noticed is that I find almost an obsession with older women because there’s like a confidence level there I really look forward to achieving."
Want more? Then Click here to find out why Alicia traveled to Egypt alone.