Like many of us, Alicia Keys has found herself scrolling through social media, trapped in an endless stream of seemingly perfect bodies, faces, and lives on her feed. Now, the “Girl on Fire” singer is using her platform to speak on the dangers of treating Instagram as truth—and the importance of protecting your body image.
“Definitely, as we’re scrolling on social media, you get distorted reality a bit,” Keys, 41, told People this week. “It’s hard because this little tiny computer, this convenient computer is literally in your pocket all day long … you don’t realize how much it’s affecting how you feel.”
“Making sure that I’m not always plugged in is a big help for me,” she continued. (It’s certainly refreshing to hear from the musician, who has 22.5 million followers on Instagram.) “You just have to turn off.”
Keys is currently promoting her latest partnership with activewear brand Athleta, which is about “showing how beautiful we all are in our differences,” she revealed. Instead of hitting the gym to create more content to share, she gets active for herself: “I enjoy working out because it makes me feel good, not because I can’t wait to post a selfie.”
“We have a lot of feelings about our bodies. We go through a lot, usually tons of judgment and just overthinking,” Keys told Essence last year. “Then we’re like, ‘Well, maybe something’s wrong with us,’ because we hold other people’s opinions in such high regard.”
Whether the detractors are on social media or in real life, she says, the key is simply to remember that most of us feel pretty good about ourselves until someone tells us not to; people’s opinions don’t matter when your safety and self-love is at stake.
“Obviously, as a kid and as a young woman, it is not as easy to know that, but I know that now,” she continued. “My relationship with my body really has always been pretty healthy. I’ve always preferred my curves over anything else; I’ve found that to be very beautiful. I love a beautiful booty. I just love curviness.”
But no matter what you look like, Keys stresses that building up your own body image—especially beyond the strict boundaries of social media—is what’s most important. “We’re all beautiful, no matter our style or body shape,” the singer told People. “It’s beautiful to feel positive about your body, but it’s also fine that you don’t look like everybody else, or that you look different, or you have a different shape of this, or your legs are thicker, or your breasts are larger, or your breasts are smaller, or whatever the thing might be.”
“We kind of all feel like if our stomach isn’t the flattest, or if our skin isn’t the smoothest, or if our face isn’t the clearest, then somehow we’re not beautiful, and that’s not it. That’s not it,” Keys said. “That’s the one thing that gets lost sometimes.”
We couldn’t agree more. We can’t wait to see what 2022 brings for the singer, and what other bits of wisdom she’ll drop along the way.