Alicia Keys reveals she struggled to accept her femininity

Aug 12, 2015 at 11:27 p.m. ET
Image: Dennis Van Tine/Future Image/

Even stars face some of the struggles that all women can relate to.

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Alicia Keys is no exception. The singer posted an emotional blog post to her Tumblr explaining how street harassment made her want to hide her body and herself — something we've all experienced.

"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," she wrote. "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."

And because of her hiding, Keys said, she struggled with others questioning her sexuality.

"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 then ever of what the real me was."

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But Keys, who ties the post to her new song, "28,000 Days," also has an uplifting message for other women who are hiding their true selves.

"You are allowed to be smart," she writes. "You are allowed to be beautiful. You are allowed to be radical and have strong thoughts that others might not agree with. You are allowed to be tough. You are allowed to be sexy. You are allowed to be bold. You are allowed to be shapely. You are allowed to be kind. You are allowed to be yourself!!"

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What do you think of Alicia Keys' message? Read the full post here and then head to the comments to tell us what you think.

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