Why Alicia is my Perfect Girl Crush
My husband and I don’t agree on much, but one thing we DO have in common is the same taste in women. Not that I am that partial to threesomes or lesbian trysts behind his back, but if I was ever to marry a woman it would be Alicia Keys – the ultimate Glass House Girl.
So why exactly is this beautiful talented singer, actress, song writer and supporter of strong women such an icon to millions and my fave celebrity Girl Crush? Let me explain…
1. Her message is about US! Every Woman.
Alicia’s music is the theme tune to my life – whether it’s because I’ve been working until 3 am trying to meet a deadline with two sick kids, I have relationship issues, or I have achieved something amazing at work, she’s singing about it. Because Alicia understands women. She’s not wasting her time and talent penning some shitty lyrics about wanting to be thin or getting ready to go out drinking with her mates, she understands that life is a struggle at times, that we are all working our butts off to make something of ourselves for the sake of our future and our family, and that nothing is ever black and white. Especially not love.
‘Even when I’m a mess, I still put on my vest with an S on my chest. Oh yes, I’m a Superwoman!’
Yes you are, Alicia. We all are!
2. She understands love, in all its complexities
Every fairy tale tells us that love goes like this: You meet ‘The One’, you fall in love, they love you back, Happily Ever After.
But how many of you have found such happiness that easily? Me? Fuck no! Alicia… nope. Not even her. Her music is raw and full of what love means; yearning, needing, expecting, hating, waiting, failing, winning and falling madly, deeply and crazily in love. As her voice rises and falls, then so do her hopes and dreams. When Alicia met Swizz Beats in 2009 she (much like me) learnt what it meant to be the Other Woman. At the time Swizz Beats was married to someone else, but a year later Alicia announced her engagement to him and that they were expecting their first child. You think that was easy or ideal? Of course not. But love, however it finds you… finds you. And when you get your chance you take it and you don’t let go.
“Anybody could’ve told you right from the start, it’s ’bout to fall apart. So rather than hold onto a broken dream, I’ll just hold on to love”
She had to ride that ride in the spotlight, but she kept her head held high and stayed true to herself. And anyone that judges a woman for that doesn’t get love at all.
3. She’s teaching women that Beauty and Brains CAN co-exist
I asked my six year old the other day what was more important – being clever or being pretty. She said ‘pretty’… and I immediately wanted to hand in my resignation as a mother of two girls. Then I looked about me and realised the influences surrounding our daughters; what their section of the toy shop looked like (sparkly), what cartoons we make them watch (simpering Disney Princesses), what people say to them all the time (Aren’t you pretty! Aren’t you cute! I love your dress!) so what the hell are they meant to think? Since then I turned things around – you can’t fight the power of the Pink – but you can make sure that Clever and Beautiful are not mutually exclusive.
“She walks the mile, makes you smile, all the while being true. Don’t take for granted the passions that she has for you. You will lose, if you chose, to refuse to put her first. She will, and she can, find a man who knows her worth”
Because all smart girls, like me and Alicia, know that a combination of brains and beauty get a you LONG way in a man’s world!
4. She’s putting her money where her mouth is
Alicia could have easily sung her songs, bought her yacht and sailed into the sunset with her millions; but that’s not her style. Because she’s a woman with a message, dignity and brains. Instead of making sex tapes and having stints in rehab, she uses her power and influence to help women around the world better themselves. She’s proud of her New York roots, of her mother who brought her up on her own since she was two years old and the hard work she had to do to get where she is today. So she uses that experience to help others.
She is the co-founder and Global Ambassador of Keep a Child Alive, a non-profit organization for African families with HIV and AIDS. She has donated her own money to From The Ground Up to help kids with scholarships. She’s sung for Live8 and Live Earth, raised money for Hurricane Katrina, September 11th and Haiti earthquake victims. She supported Obama’s election campaign and recently teamed up with Greater Than AIDS to launch EMPOWERED, a new public information campaign to reach women in the United States about HIV/AIDS. All the while telling the world how great her home town of New York is… the city that inspired her and made her who she is today.
“Even if it ain’t all it seems, I got a pocketful of dreams. Baby, I’m from New York! Concrete jungle where dreams are made of . There’s nothing you can’t do now you’re in New York!”
She has taught us that when you know where you come from, and what you believe in, then you know where you are going. You don’t need to know your exact destination, you just need to keep heading in the right direction!
5. She started young and never gave up
Born Alicia Augello Cook, Alicia knew from the age of four, when she had a small acting part in The Cosby Show, that she wanted to be a performer. By seven she was learning the piano, at 12 she joined the school choir and aged 13 she got an agent. At 14 she started writing music, was signed by a record label in her early teens and in 1997 her first recorded song “Dah Dee Dah (Sexy Thing)” featured in the soundtrack of Men in Black. Not bad for a 16 year old. She chose the stage name of Alicia Keys as a representation of her musical ability and opening up a new chapter in her life and never looked back.
“She’s got both feet on the ground and she’s burning it down. She got her head in the clouds and she’s not backing down.”
Alicia’s story goes to show that when you set your goals, however young, you can make it. Then when you make it you don’t stop, you share your skills and talent, you support others that are inspired by you and you keep channeling that talent and power to share your message.
Girl, you ARE on fire!
So Alicia, if you are reading this… thank you. For me you represent everything a woman should be. In fact you make me proud to be a woman. You have taught us that beauty, brains, talent and success don’t just come out of thin air. It ain’t luck and it ain’t ‘one of those things’… it’s hard work.
Really fucking hard work.
What you write and sing about is why I became a Glass House Girl – to reach the unreachable and lift up the fallen; to give a voice to women with something to say and no platform from which to shout it from; to prove to my little girls that when you work hard, dream big and stay focused a woman can DO and BE anything.
And I’m pleased my husband fancies the pants off you, because it shows he has good taste in women. He likes a strong, talented, driven, vocal woman who works for what she believes in. Which is everything I hope I am too and what my girls will be one day. Alicia – I salute you.