Alicia Keys is gearing up for the release of her memoir More Myself and she recalled the moment she felt “manipulated” and “objectified” at 19 years old.
The singer wrote that during a magazine photoshoot the photographer convinced her team to do the shoot alone. After that, he instructed her to “Open up your shirt a little” and “Pull the top of your jeans down a bit in the front.”
“My spirit is screaming that something is wrong, that this feels sleazy. But my protests, lodged in the back of my throat, can’t make their way out,” Keys writes. “I swallow my misgivings, tuck my thumb between the denim and my skin, and obey.”
The 39-year-old who was preparing for the release of her debut album, Songs in A Minor, says she went home and cried after the shoot. “This isn’t about me showing some skin, which I’ll do on my own terms, for my own purposes, in the coming years,” she writes. “It’s about feeling manipulated. It’s about being objectified.”
Alicia Keys says her manager at the time was appalled at the magazine shoot and was “embarrassed” and “ashamed” at the end results. “I now understand why the photographer wanted my team out of that room,” she writes. “A nineteen-year-old girl is more pliable than a set of her grown-ass managers.”
She added, “I swear that I’ll never again let someone rob me of my power,” Keys writes, adding, “It’s a promise I still work to keep.”