Alicia Keys talks self-acceptance for ‘People”s February digital cover

Alicia Keys is all about self-care: She works on nurturing her well-being, as she believes it has an affect on her externally.

“If you’re not connected to your inner [self], then you can’t present your[self] most confidently outwardly,” Alicia tells People for the digital cover of its February issue. “When I’m really hearing negative talk in my head, I’m trying to shift that to a positive version of it so I don’t get lost in that. So one of my mantras of the century is: ‘I surround myself with things that are good for me.’ And it’s okay letting go of the things that don’t make you happy.”

This mentality and mantra have rendered Alicia successful in her music career and marriage to producer Swizz Beatz. They also align with her overall feelings about the true meaning of “beauty.”

“Beauty is a word that we associate with a physical presence, but I think that beauty is actually your spirit,” she says. “It’s what you can’t see that makes you so beautiful. It’s that nurturing energy. It’s that loving attention, that empathy. That, to me, is what beauty is. And the most beautiful people I know are those kinds of people. It’s that spirit essence.”

Alicia’s self-acceptance came after years of feeling “compelled to buck societal beauty standards,” People reports. She briefly stopped wearing makeup as she realized the importance of finding out what makes her happy and brings her joy, as well as what doesn’t serve her. 

Now, Alicia speaks her truth in her marriage and tries to teach her sons, Egypt and Genesis, “to trust their instincts.” She “hopes that intuition will lead them in the right direction.”

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