The 'Empire State of Mind' singer was left saddened when her four-year-old son Genesis decided he didn't want the rainbow manicure he'd asked for because the youngster felt he'd be judged for wearing nail polish.
In an Instagram video captioned "Less Labels, More Expressions", she said: "He's in the chair and he's like, 'I want [a] rainbow.' So he tells the lady that he wants rainbow colours on his nails. And she brings all of these colours and she paints each nail a different colour. And after she painted his nails, he looked at me and he said, 'Mommy, I don't want this on my nails.'
"And I said, 'Why? You were so sure. You were good.'" Keys continued. "And he was like, 'People are not gonna like it.' Can you believe this? Four years old. He's four! And he already understands the concept that someone is gonna judge him because he chose rainbow colours on his nails."
Alicia encouraged her son to "stick with it" as people wouldn't judge him for showing how "creative and amazing" he is, before reassuring him lots of other guys wear nail polish.
She added: "That made him feel better, but it just got me to thinking how completely judged we are all the time."
The 38-year-old star - who has Genesis and nine-year-old Egypt with husband Swizz Beatz - admitted the incident had made her reflect on how "concerning" it is that people feel they need to keep parts of themselves hidden away.
She said: "The way I see it, there is masculine and there are feminine energies inside of us all, period. It gets concerning to me that we can't just explore these different sides of ourselves. These different energies that are within us."
Alicia admitted she often expresses "the masculine energy" inside herself and feels judged.
She said: "And, all the time, if that happens, there are the judgments, and there's the stereotypes, and there are all the energies that come towards that.
"And for my boys, [it's] similar, if they want to express the feminine energy that's inside of them. There's all of these judgments, and all these rules, and stereotypes, and vibes."
The 'Fallin' hitmaker feels "really, really frustrated about it."
She added: "I ask myself, 'Why is that? Why can't we just express the different energies that are inside us?'
"We should be able to explore and express [our masculine and feminine energies] however we want to."