Belfast Telegraph

Alicia Keys: Baggy clothes protected me

Alicia Keys didn’t exhibit her true fashion sense until she was well into adulthood.

The stunning 34-year-old Fallin’ songstress is known for infusing her outfits with a hip flair, by incorporating casual, streetwear and elegant elements into one.

But when Alicia was younger, she felt more comfortable in men’s clothes.

“I definitely started hiding when I got old enough to walk down my NY streets alone,” she wrote in a blog post entitled A Revelation on her website. “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. “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 colour lipstick or pretty dresses. I chose to hide. Pieces at a time. Less trouble that way.”

However, Alicia grew tired of dressing a certain way just to stave off catcalls. The Girl on Fire singer initially wore lots of baggy clothes when her career took off in the early 2000s, with people incorrectly assuming she was “hard” or “gay” due to her attire.

So Alicia developed the courage to be herself with style choices no matter what.

“You are allowed to be beautiful,” Alicia wrote, noting this is what she tells herself when inclined to hide behind baggy clothes. “I don’t have to hide anymore, I don’t have to pretend and hold back, I don’t have to think that my intelligence, beauty and sensuality are intimidating to others.”

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