How Alicia Keys turned pasties into a teachable moment

When Alicia Keys’ youngest son voiced his opinion about his mom wearing pasties, she had wise words to share of her own.

Genesis, the 8-year-old son of Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz, recently received a lesson in anatomy from his multi-Grammy award-winning mom. 

In a video taken backstage during a recent concert of Keys’, Genesis expressed his displeasure with his mother’s stage wardrobe. Specifically, the R&B singer was wearing a long-sleeved, sheer and flowy crop top over heart-shaped pasties.

Alicia Keys, Genesis, Alicia Keys children, Swizz Beatz, Black parenting, Black celebrity moms, Black celebrity children,
Alicia Keys attends the “Uncharted” premiere during the 2023 Tribeca Festival at BMCC Theater on June 10, 2023, in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival)

“Are you really going to do this, Mom?” Genesis asked. 

When Keys asked what was wrong, Genesis shared his concerns about the heart-shaped pasties. “So everybody can see your boobs,” he said.

When Keys attempted to explain that the pasties were there to prevent others from seeing her boobs, Genesis remained unconvinced, remarking, “I’ve never seen somebody do that.” Keys threw back, “Well, you’re only 8.” 

The singer-songwriter then attempted to demonstrate for her son how she would be covered, prompting him to suggest different choreography altogether. Eventually, Keys let him in on the fact that “boobs” are a natural part of human anatomy. 

“It’s not a big deal. It’s boobs. Everyone has boobs,” she said.  

Commenters responding to the now-viral video have been divided. While many found the exchange relatable and humorous, others pointed to the potential social dynamics at play. While one camp praised the boy for attempting to set standards of modesty, another considered it an example of how boys eventually grow up to be men who police women’s bodies. Meanwhile, several others praised Keys’ response to her son, patiently taking his concerns into consideration while discouraging him from body-shaming.

“What a great display of conscious parenting,” wrote one user. “‘It’s boobs, everybody has boobs.’ Right on sister. You taught him it’s okay to feel free and liberated in your own skin and body.”

Another user wrote, “It’s just boobs … I love that you teaching ‘em that so he doesn’t grow up over-sexualizing everything. I think it’s beautiful he spoke his mind, and also that you let ‘em know it’s just boobs.” 

Genesis is Keys’ youngest son with Swizz Beatz. The couple, who have been married since 2010, also share a 12-year-old son, Egypt.  

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