- Singer Alicia Keys was moved to speak out against gender stereotypes after her son, Genesis, became shy of his brightly painted fingernails
- He visited a salon with her and was, at first, excited to have his nails painted in rainbow colours
- After a while, the four-year-old became sombre and implied that he believes people will tease him for having polished nails
Keys recounted the upsetting experience to her Instagram followers.
She said, “So he tells the lady he wants rainbow colours on his nails. And she brings all these colours and she paints each nail a different colour."
It's worth noting that rainbow colours are typically associated with the LGBTQ community.
They are worn to show pride as a part of or solidarity with this often marginalised group.
Keys continued, “And after she painted his nails, he looked at me and he said, ‘Mommy, I don’t want this on my nails'.
“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 and he already understands the concept that someone’s going to judge him because he chose rainbow colours on his nails.”
Alicia said she encouraged her son to stick with what he chose because he liked it and not to worry about what other people would say.
She said she is tired of gender stereotypes that keep society boxed in.
Keys believes that we should be free to express ourselves in any way we feel comfortable.
“It gets concerning to me that we can’t just explore these different sides of ourselves,” she said.
“You do it. Who cares what anybody else says?” she told her son.
She also reassured her son that a lot of males paint their nails, which made him feel better.
Keys told her followers said she believed there were masculine and feminine energies inside everyone.
The video was viewed almost two million times.
Fellow singer Melanie Fiona responded, "This kid. This expression. This parenting. This thinking. THIS is the stuff that will change the world. For the better."
Keys' husband and her son's father, producer Swizz Beatz, chimed in, "He’s a young King and he can explore and express his creativity at any time! We support it as his parents."
Other commentators were not as accepting of Key's views.
One user commented that maybe Keys "pressured" her son into getting his nails painted.
She asked the singer, "Why confuse your child like that?"
Another social media user said, although she understood the singer's thinking, four years old is too young for a child to begin expressing gender fluidity.
In a social media poll, sixty-nine percent of voters said they believed Keys was wrong to convince her son to keep the nail polish on, knowing he would likely be bullied.
Another mother insisted she would never be okay with her son wearing nail polish, period.
Other celebrities who are known to allow their children to dress completely as the other gender are accomplished actresses, Angelina Jolie and Charlize Theron.
Jolie's daughter, 13-year-old Shiloh, dresses as a boy would on a daily basis.
Theron dresses her seven-year-old adoptive son, Jackson, in girl's clothing and the boy is said to be living his life as a girl child.
Both have been heavily criticised for their decisions but insist it is their children's personal choice.
Although there has been some backlash to her statements, we're sure Keys is too busy preparing for her upcoming performance at the Shawn Carter Foundation Gala dinner to be too concerned about it.
And, as long as her husband supports how she's raising their son, we are sure she's good on other people's opinions.
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