Alicia Keys is proud of her freckles.
The singer recently wrote an essay for Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter, where she got super candid about the pressures for women to be perfect. She admits it got so bad for her at one point in her life that she believed she “was not good enough for the world to see” and her mind was constantly filled with “insecure, superficial, but honest thoughts”.
“Before I started my new album, I wrote a list of all the things that I was sick of,” she writes. “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.” But after taking photos of herself without any makeup on, she felt liberated.
“I was shocked. Instantly, I became a bit nervous and slightly uncomfortable. My face was totally raw. I had on a sweatshirt!” she continues. “[But] I swear it is the strongest, most empowered, most free, and most honestly beautiful that I have ever felt.”
The photo, which shows Keys in a head scarf, is even being used as the artwork for her new song, “In Common,” in which she hopes will start a revolution. “I don’t want to cover up anymore,” she writes, concluding the essay. “Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing.”
Watch the music video for her new song below!