“I didn’t want to be talked to in that way, looked at in that way, whistled after, followed. And so I started hiding,” she said. “I chose the baggy jeans and timbs, I chose the ponytail and hat, I chose no makeup, no bright colour lipstick or pretty dresses. I chose to hide. Pieces at a time. Less trouble that way.”

Then, as her fame grew, she says the “the baggy/braided/tough NY tomboy thing” led people to assume she was gay.

So, in attempt to blend in again, she began wearing dresses and stopped braiding her whole head.

http://m.dailylife.com.au/dl-people/celebrity-news/alicia-keys-says-she-developed-tomboy-style-to-avoid-street-harassment-from-men-20150810-giw4w2.html