The Naked, Self-Love Ritual That Alicia Keys Does Every Morning

Alicia KeysPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

It’s no secret that Alicia Keys takes self-love to a whole other level. After all, the 15-time Grammy award winner made headlines last year for ditching makeup to embrace her natural beauty. And recently, the 40-year-old musician shared the ritual she does each morning to improve her body image: She looks at herself naked in the mirror for an extended period of time to appreciate every inch of her body. 

In an Instagram video, Keys explained step-by-step how she executes the ritual. “Look at yourself in the mirror, preferably be naked, for at least seven minutes, to build your way up to 11 minutes of completely looking [at] and taking in you,” she said while admiring herself in a mirror wearing nothing but undergarments and a towel wrapped around her head. “Take in you. Take in those knees. Take in those thighs. Take in that belly. Take in those breasts. Take in this face, those shoulders, these hands - everything.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys)

The practice, known as “mirror exposure” or “mirror acceptance,” is a similar method used by behavioral therapists to help people develop an unbiased view of their bodies, according to New York City clinical psychologist Terri Bacow, Ph.D. “Mirror exposure or mirror acceptance involves looking at yourself in the mirror and describing your face or body in entirely neutral terms,” Bacow told Shape. “It's where you consider the form or function of your body rather than aesthetics because you often can't be a reliable judge of your own beauty if you are overly critical.”

Essentially, the goal of this method involves describing your body factually while remaining objective. “For example, ‘I have X color skin, my eyes are blue, my hair is X color, it is X length, my face is oval-shaped,’” Bacow said. “Not, ‘I am so ugly.’”

However, Keys’ ritual breaks from the traditional approach to this behavioral therapy because she likes to incorporate positive, personal pep talk. For example, she likes to listen to the song, “I am the Light of the Soul,” by Gurudass Kaur as a component of her ritual. “It says, ‘I’m the light of the soul. I am bountiful, beautiful, I am blessed,’” Keys said. “You listen to these words and look at yourself in the mirror. Your reflection. No judgment. Try your best not to judge.”

Nevertheless, Keys admitted that “it’s so hard” to avoid self-judgment. For that reason, she challenged her followers to try the ritual every day for 21 days to see how they react to it. “I know it's going to affect you in a powerful, positive, acceptance-filled way,” she said. “Praise your body, love on you.”