Only Jada Pinkett-Smith and her mama can have me crying in front of my computer at 10 o'clock on a Monday morning and the latest Red Table Talk drop was no exception. In a special episode, Jada, Willow, and Adrienne were joined by GRAMMY-award winning artist, Alicia Keys, who replaced the legendary red table with a piano for today's segment.
During their discussion, Alicia opened up about the lessons she's learned in life, love, and motherhood and shared what she thinks is the biggest misconception she thinks that people have about her:
"Probably that I'm very happy or that I'm very strong. But I get the sense that people expect me [to be]. They're like, what do you mean you don't feel bad? Oh, and my favorite one. They don't think I curse. I'm like, what the f*ck?"
Along with dropping a few F-bombs and sharing some laughs, there were also some deeply intimate on-camera moments that Alicia had with Jada and her gang where they discussed the real reason behind her no-makeup campaign, struggling with self-worth, and being a recovering people-pleaser.
Here's what we learned during the episode:
On Her Issues With Self-Worth…
According to Alicia Keys, many of the empowering anthems that flooded the radio over the years were written from a place of despair. Although songs like "Girl on Fire" and "Superwoman" may be about strong, independent women who know what they want in life, she wasn't always one of them.
"I have been doing this thing for many years where I have been downplaying whatever it is that I need because I never want to come off too demanding. I just need that little bit; I don't need a lot and I've always thought that that was actually a very righteous, beautiful way to be."
It wasn't until recently that Alicia learned that pouring from an empty cup isn't only unrealistic, it's impossible.
"I realized that, in fact, what I've been doing to myself and what I've been actually asking the universe to give me is only a little bit, I've been battling potentially some self-worth issues because, for whatever reason, I'm feeling like I'm not deserving of greatness. And I've been smushing it down for so long that if it's become a habit, a bad habit."
On Being A Recovering People-Pleaser...
"I don't even know how to get mad. I don't even know what it's like to just lose my mind on somebody just totally lose it. And my mother, on the other hand, is very good at being angry and kind of sharing her true feelings, which I actually admire deeply about her. So many times I looked at her like, I wish I could do that, which would be so freeing. But I think because she raised me and it was her and there was a certain balance that I had to naturally take in order for the relationship to work. And then I kind of took that with me everywhere. So then I became that person with everybody."
On Why She Stopped Wearing Makeup...
We all hate the infamous "wow, you look tired" comment at work when the truth is, you really just aren't wearing makeup today, so Alicia Keys decided to do away with it all together. According to her, after years of wearing a full face of makeup, she eventually didn't recognize herself at all.
"I didn't even know my face. I didn't even know my own face. When I took off all the stuff and I looked into the mirror, I didn't know that person. It was that drastic."
Eventually, Alicia saw that her need to wear makeup stemmed from the same people-pleasing mentality that she had been trying to overcome all along.
"I was realizing that I wanted to know myself more. Then I started getting in his head trip about like, oh my gosh, I've done that because I've been told to do that. Succumbing to whatever people's expectations of me are, which is mostly pretty much my life. Like, Oh, what do you expect from me? Oh, let me do it."
On The Most Challenging Time In Her Life…
"I would say finding the strength to let go of the people that weren't serving me. Yeah. When they were so integral in everything that I had known and I felt almost so dependent on them, I felt in my mind I thought that without them I wouldn't be me. Yeah. And that took a long time to come to terms with that. People definitely assist you in your journey for sure. But they don't make you. Yeah. Nobody makes you, I make me."
On Lessons In Motherhood…
There are people in your life who are meant to be blessings, and those who come into your life to teach you a lesson; but Alicia Keys says that her son and bonus children have been both.
"They've taught me to appreciate the vibe, to appreciate the magic and to know when it's not there. There [are] moments when something is actually magic and you're like, you know what, I'm gonna go ahead and stay here. Yeah. And I might be really late tonight, but the magic is here and it's worth it. And then there's other moments where I'm like, there is no magic. I don't have to try to conjure up the magic, hurry up and make the thing happen. No, it's not happening today."
Alicia says that the lessons she's learned in motherhood have even crossed over to her professional life.
"Go, make sure you're where you need to be, you know. So that's been cool cause I used to just beat things to death. If I wasn't working 19 hours a day, I wasn't actually working. That's stupid."
Watch the full clip below!
Featured image by Instagram/@RedTableTalk.