At 19 years old, Alicia Keys says she felt “manipulated” and “objectified” by a photographer who made her open her shirt and pull down the top of her jeans.
Keys, 39, detailed the photoshoot in her new memoir, “More Myself,” writing that the shutterbug convinced her team he needed to photograph her alone and then told her, “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 singer, who at the time 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.”
She said her manager at the time was appalled when he saw the magazine cover a few months later and Keys says she didn’t recognize the woman in the photo and was “embarrassed” and “ashamed” of it.
“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.”
On the day of the magazine’s release, she said she wanted to throw up when she saw it on newsstands.
“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.”
Source: Page Six