Who Cares What Anybody Says? Well, We All Do.
Looking back, I don’t know my reason for worrying so much as a kid. I had a stable home, great family, and all the love I could hold. It was once I left home that caused me to have insecurities. My days at school were long and I was always just trying to fit in. It seemed as though every day I was telling my mother about what someone said to me. She would wave her hand and tell me not to care about what people say.
Over the weekend, singer Alicia Keys took to social media to urge her fans to pursue “less labels, more expressions” after her son voiced his insecurities about his rainbow nail polish.
Okay. Let’s not jump over that. You’re probably asking yourself why would her 4-year-old son be wearing nail polish in the first place. Well, I admit that crossed my mind as well. Boys aren’t supposed to wear nail polish, right? There’s a bigger lesson here, trust me.
Well, little Genesis was excited to go to the nail salon with his mama and decided to get each of his nails painted a different color of the rainbow. Afterwards, he questioned his decision. “Mommy, I don’t want this on my nails,” he said. “People are not going to like it.” He understood at 4-years-old the concept of others judging him, because of his choice to wear nail polish.
"You had this idea, stick with it," she told him. "You chose it, you liked it, you do it. Who cares what anybody else says? Plus, you know, a lot of guys paint their nails. It's not, like, some strange thing that you only do."
Alicia Keys expressed her frustration on an IGTV video about how we are all constantly judged and people get held back from expressing their masculine and feminine energies. She’s right. People are afraid and worried about expressing who they really are.
There are people right now shaming Alicia Keys for allowing her son wear nail polish. The issue here is not what’s “right” for a boy to do, but it’s the freedom to do what you want without judgment and fear.
In 2019, there isn’t too much that we haven’t been exposed to. Whether in our daily lives or in the media, people are saying and doing what they want.
Alicia Keys shared photos on her Instagram Stories of ground-breaking men such as Pharrell and Billy Porter who have worn dresses and make-up. There are so many others as well. It is the perceptions and uncomfortability in us that dictate what we project as right or wrong to others.
When Pharrell wore a dress for his 2013 GQ magazine shoot, no one really lost their mind. The consensus was that he’s just weird, so he gets a pass. He admits that he would not be one to wear a skirt or dress, but it shouldn’t be anything wrong with it. He also says that it took him a while to grow into his current understanding of flexibility in fashion for men.
When Billy Porter showed up on the red carpet at the 2019 Academy Awards, people did lose their natural minds. It was an in-your-face politics moment on how men can be comfortable outside masculine norms. Because Billy Porter is gay, the conversation was much deeper than that.
Alicia Keys wants you to know that it’s okay for her 4-year-old son to wear rainbow nail polish. She doesn’t care what you think and he’s learning not to either. I suppose it's a lesson we all can learn.