Spring is officially here now that the sun has transitioned into Aries, heralding the astrological new year. If the first few months of 2021 didn't feel like the reset you needed, the shift has finally arrived. A beautiful exchange between Saturn and the North Node invites us to set some new career goals for ourselves that are in alignment with our deepest wishes of fulfillment. Towards the middle of the month, the energy pivots into Taurus, encouraging us to reclaim our need for pleasure, comfort, and security. Check out the horoscopes to see what magic is in store for you in April!
AriesLaci Jordan for xoNecole
All eyes are on you this month with all of the action taking place in your sign. April kicks off with Mercury teaming up with the Sun revitalizing your spirit for some birthday fun. On the 9th, an harmonious interaction between Saturn and the North Node supports your efforts in fulfilling your dreams and your community--whether online or offline--plays a huge role in your success. The New Moon on the 11th invites you to make a wish for what you'd like to accomplish in the year ahead.
Around the middle of the month, your attention shifts gears from being the life of the party to getting serious about your money. With Venus, Mercury, and the Sun in this part of your sky, the floodgates are opening. New opportunities, financial increase, and promotions are likely during this time. On the 23rd, Mars enters Cancer, motivating you to make some adjustments to your home. A relocation or property investment is supported during this transit. This busy month comes to a close with a full moon on the 26th, encouraging you to resolve any outstanding debts that are hindering your financial freedom.
TaurusLaci Jordan for xoNecole
April begins with Mercury transitioning into Aries on the 3rd encouraging you to confront the bully within. Be mindful of the disempowering narratives you've got stuck on loop. An important conversation taking place around the 9th assures that your hard work and commitment to your goals is paving a path towards greater abundance. On the 11th, the New Moon encourages you to connect with healthy outlets for expressing your anger which is just as valid as any other emotion.
Towards the middle of the month, the energy shifts from Aries into your sign. On the 19th, your birthday season officially begins with the Sun joined by Venus and Mercury bringing you all of the blessings for your Solar Return. Your desire to learn something new or deepen the knowledge of your craft is heightened when Mars enters Cancer on the 23rd. Sign up for a course, attend a workshop, or read some new books to brush up on your expertise. The full moon on the 26th reveals any hidden agendas so you're clear about who is really #TeamTaurus.
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Your friends and social network have you busier than usual when Mercury enters Aries on the 3rd. This is a persuasive time in which you can rally up the troops in support of your vision. Use your influence wisely. On the 9th, Saturn and the North Node aim to align you with your destiny but trust that it will require some sacrifice. The New Moon on the 11th encourages you to dream bigger! Set a lofty goal for yourself that you want to accomplish within the next year. You'd be surprised by how the Universe orchestrates things in your favor once you truly commit to your heart's desires.
On the 14th, Venus transitions into Taurus with the Sun and Mercury joining the party a few days later. As the planet of vitality dips into your 12th house, you're invited to rest and reflect on the past year in preparation for your birthday season. When Mars enters Cancer on the 23rd, your need for financial security and physical comfort is all the more obvious, which has the potential to inspire you to take action towards creating a more luxurious life for yourself. The Full Moon on the 26th could reveal a hidden enemy amongst your circle. Take note and move (away) accordingly.
CancerLaci Jordan for xoNecole
April is a busy month for you particularly when it comes to your career. With the Sun, Mercury, and Venus transiting this part of your chart early on in the month, you'll be busy with meetings, interviews, and the likes. You've got a little more pep in your step than usual, so make these first couple of weeks count. On the 9th, an uncanny spiritual experience gives you a glimpse into a past life pattern that you need to resolve in this lifetime. It's time to embrace the freedom that comes with living life by your own rules (as long as it doesn't harm anyone else, of course). The New Moon on the 11th presents a new career path that will help you cultivate more leadership skills.
On the 14th, Venus shifts into Taurus and is shortly followed behind by Mercury and the Sun. If you've got a big dream in mind and feel like it's impossible to do on your own, you're right! You weren't meant to go at it alone. Enlist the forces of your friends so you can all get to the bag together. Towards the end of the month, Mars enters your sign which could be a mixed bag of energy. One day you feel like the Energizer bunny and the next day you need at least 16 hours of sleep. Give yourself grace as you navigate the next month and a half. The month winds down with a romantic full moon encouraging you to indulge in some sensual seduction.
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The month ahead is a busy one for you kicking off with Mercury entering Aries on the 3rd, inspiring you to venture into uncharted territory. Opportunities to share your expertise--potentially on a global scale--are made available to you during this transit. On the 9th, Saturn and the North Node team up to accelerate your growth through your social network. The New Moon on the 11th marks the reemergence of your spirit and its thirst for more wisdom.
On the 14th, Venus transitions into Taurus which could result in some pressure from an authority figure. All eyes are on you and the people are watching it. Remember that these are the moments that separate those that are really "bout it bout it" and those that are just fakin the funk. When Mercury and the Sun join this part of your chart, your every move is under a microscope. Put your best foot forward to secure your success and reputation. On the 23rd, Mars enters Cancer which will require you to prioritize more rest and reflection. April wraps up with a Full Moon, encouraging you to find the balance between nurturing your family and pursuing your goals.
VirgoLaci Jordan for xoNecole
Mercury is kicking up the dust in the shadows when it begins its transit through Aries on the 3rd. It's time to face your deepest fears with a bold and empowering perspective. Instead of harping on being the underdog, it's time to share the tale of how you slayed your metaphorical dragons. A much-needed adjustment in your lifestyle becomes all the more obvious around the 9th. Does your work truly support the life you want to live or someone else's idea of success? On the 11th, the New Moon is a supportive time for gaining financial support from others.
Towards the middle of the month, the energy shifts from vivacious Aries to down-to-Earth Taurus. With Venus, Mercury, and the Sun in your sister sign, your wanderlust is calling. Planning an international vacation may be top priority for you. While some of you may consider going back to school, others of you may have opportunities extended for you to teach others. When Mars shifts into Cancer on the 23rd, your friends are backing up your goals which gives you the wind beneath your wings to continue soaring to new heights. The month wraps up with a full moon revealing some hidden information. Can you keep a secret?
LibraLaci Jordan for xoNecole
The beginning of the month invites you to reassess your alliances and partnerships. Remember that asserting your wants and needs isn't synonymous with being controlling. On the 9th, your desire for freedom, creativity, and self-expression is heightened, helping you make your mark while inspiring others in the process. The New Moon on the 11th could have you signing your name on a contract for a new job. If you're in a serious commitment, things may suddenly be going to the next level.
On the 14th, Venus shifts into Taurus which is shortly followed behind by the sun and Mercury. You're feeling a little more private for the next month as you work on healing and deepening a connection behind the scenes. When Mars shifts into Cancer on the 23rd, you're feeling the pressure when it comes to making some career moves but trust that you'll rise to the occasion which will ultimately grant you favor in the eyes of an authoritative figure. April comes to a close with a full moon helping you resolve some unprocessed emotions that affected your self-esteem. You have the right to take up more space in the world and shine your light as the brilliant soul that you are. Now go be great!
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The first part of the month has your schedule picking up the pace when Mercury shifts into Aries on the 3rd. This is a good time to take care of those outstanding tasks on your to-do list, schedule your annual health screenings, and get your ass back in the gym. On the 9th, Saturn trines the North Node, inspiring you to dream beyond the limitations of the generational traumas affecting your lineage. How are you preparing yourself to be a good ancestor for those to come? The New Moon on the 11th invites you to embrace some different habits to improve your lifestyle.
Towards the middle of the month, the energy shifts from high-spirited Aries to lowkey Taurus which has you prioritizing your relationships a little more than usual. With Venus in this part of your chart, you're being challenged to embrace a new way of relating to others. When Mercury and the Sun join this part of your chart on the 19th, the triggers are real but your awareness is realer. Stay present in the moment instead of getting drawn into an old story. On the 23rd, Mars enters Cancer which has you ready for another stamp in your passport. The month wraps up with a full moon in your sign reminding you of just how powerful you truly are.
Laci Jordan for xoNecole
April kicks off with Mercury shifting into hot-headed Aries reminding you to think before you speak particularly in matters of love. On the 9th, you're committed to your vision of success and more discerning about the alliances you need to build to support your efforts. The New Moon on the 11th encourages you to take a bold risk when it comes to your creative expression, making this a great time to start a new hobby or project.
When Venus enters Taurus on the 14th, you're getting serious about a romantic prospect (or, at the least, attracting someone who's interested in something long-term). When Mercury and the Sun join the party, it's a good time to establish a better routine for yourself. You have the ability to accomplish quite a bit over the next few weeks if you stay disciplined. On the 23rd, Mars enters Cancer which could trigger some insecurities and fears of abandonment. Working with a therapist could be beneficial during this transit. The month winds down with a full moon in Scorpio revealing someone's true intentions which ultimately helps you get clear on where the relationship is headed.
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Home and family matters have your attention in the first part of April when Mercury enters Aries. Some challenges may require some extra patience on your behalf as you aim to establish a greater sense of security. On the 9th, you're ready to commit to a shift in your career, whether you're moving on to a new job or expanding your business into uncharted territory. The New Moon on the 11th invites you to plant your roots somewhere new, making this a supportive time for relocating or renovating your current abode.
On the 14th, Venus shifts into Taurus inviting you to indulge in some play and romance. When Mercury and the Sun joins this part of your chart on the 19th, you've got some big plans when it comes to a creative project. Don't be afraid to invest in talents. You never know how far they can take you. Towards the end of the month, Mars enters Cancer which could result in some frustrating relationship dynamics or some steamy sexual tension. Make love or make war--it's your choice. April wraps up with a full moon on the 26th revealing who is truly #TeamCappie and who ain't. As they say, "The truth shall set you free."
Laci Jordan for xoNecole
The month kicks off with Mercury shifting into Aries lighting up your house of communications. You're feeling passionate, enthusiastic, and maybe a little bossy so just keep that in mind in your interactions with others. On the 9th, Saturn trines the North Node of destiny, encouraging you to take your creative pursuits more seriously. This is a particularly fated time for you in which you may even meet a significant romantic interest. The New Moon on the 11th is the perfect time to start that blog, write that book, or host a live session on Instagram. Your influence is powerful at this time so use it wisely.
Toward the middle of the month, Venus enters Taurus which has you wanting to cozy up at home with your significant other or your fur baby. When Mercury and the sun join this part of your chart be mindful of family drama. People are a little more stubborn than usual so you may have a hard time convincing others. On the 23rd, Mars enters Cancer which has you busy with daily activities, appointments, and errands. April wraps up with a full moon revealing someone's misuse of power serving as an example of how not to move. Remember--what's done in the dark always comes to the light.
Laci Jordan for xoNecole
Your money and values are the top priority when Mercury enters Aries on the 3rd. Your negotiation skills are next-level during this transit, making this a good time to suggest a raise or promotion. When Saturn and the North Node meet up on the 9th, you're serious about moving past self-imposed limitations to create a more solid sense of security within yourself. The New Moon on the 11th invites you to strike for gold with a new stream of income. As one of the most multi-faceted zodiac signs, you've got plenty of hidden gifts and talents up your sleeve.
On the 14th, Venus shifts into Taurus, making this a good time to try a dating app if you're open for love. The energy is supportive for nurturing long-lasting commitments, making this the ideal time to shoot your shot. When Mercury and the sun join Venus, people are hanging on to your every word. Use your voice to inspire others to believe in their abilities (and their earning potential). On the 23rd, Mars enters Cancer, encouraging you to indulge in some romance. Flirt with that cutie at the coffee shop. Say "yes" to that date offer. And show yourself some love with some self-pleasure. April wraps up with a mysterious full moon inviting you to expand beyond your comfort zone in pursuit of your soul's ultimate fulfillment.
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Featured image by Laci Jordan for xoNecole
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Amber Riley Is In Her Element
Amber Riley has the type of laugh that sticks with you long after the raspy, rhythmic sounds have ceased. It punctuates her sentences sometimes, whether she’s giving a chuckle to denote the serious nature of something she just said or throwing her head back in rip-roarious laughter after a joke. She laughs as if she understands the fragility of each minute. She chooses laughter often with the understanding that future joy is not guaranteed.
Credit: Ally Green
The sound of her laughter is rivaled only by her singing voice, an emblem of the past and the future resilience of Black women stretched over a few octaves. On Fox’s Glee, her character Mercedes Jones was portrayed, perhaps unfairly, as the vocal duel to Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), offering rough, full-throated belts behind her co-star’s smooth, pristine vocals. Riley’s always been more than the singer who could deliver a finishing note, though.
Portraying Effie White, she displayed the dynamic emotions of a song such as “And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going” in Dreamgirls on London’s West End without buckling under the historic weight of her predecessors. With her instrument, John Mayer’s “Gravity” became a religious experience, a belted hymnal full of growls and churchy riffs. In her voice, Nicole Scherzinger once said she heard “the power of God.”
Credit: Ally Green
Riley’s voice has been a staple throughout pop culture for nearly 15 years now. Her tone has become so distinguishable that most viewers of Fox’s The Masked Singer recognized the multihyphenate even before it was revealed that she was Harp, the competition-winning, gold-masked figure with an actual harp strapped to her back.
Still, it wasn’t until recently that Riley began to feel like she’d found her voice. This sounds unbelievable. But she’s not referring to the one she uses on stage. She’s referencing the voice that speaks to who she is at her core. “Therapy kind of gave me the training to speak my mind,” the 37-year-old says. “It’s not something we’re taught, especially as Black women. I got so comfortable in [doing so], and I really want other people, especially Black women, to get more comfortable in that space.”
“Therapy kind of gave me the training to speak my mind. It’s not something we’re taught, especially as Black women."
If you ask Riley’s manager, Myisha Brooks, she’ll tell you the foundation of who the multihyphenate is hasn’t changed much since she was a kid growing up in Compton. “She is who she is from when I met her back when she was singing in the front of the church to back when she landed major roles in film and TV,” Brooks says. Time has allowed Riley to grow more comfortable, giving fans a more intimate glimpse into her life, including her mental health journey and the ins and outs of show business.
The actress/singer has been in therapy since 2019, although she suffered from depression and anxiety way before that. In a recent interview with Jason Lee, she recalls having suicidal ideation as a kid. By the time she started seeing a psychologist and taking antidepressants in her thirties, her body had become jittery, a physical reminder of the trauma stacked high inside her. “I was shaking in [my therapist’s] office,” she tells xoNecole. “My fight or flight was on such a high level. I was constantly in survival mode. My heart was beating fast all the time. All I did was sweat.”
There wasn’t just childhood trauma to account for. After auditioning for American Idol and being turned away by producers, Riley began working for Ikea and nearly missed her Glee audition because her car broke down on the highway while en route. Thankfully, Riley had been cast to play Mercedes Jones. American Idol had temporarily convinced her she wasn’t cut out for the entertainment industry, but this was validation that she was right where she belonged. Glee launched in 2009 with the promise of becoming Riley’s big break.
In some ways, it was. The show introduced Riley to millions of fans and catapulted her into major Hollywood circles. But in other ways, it became a reminder of the types of roles Black women, especially those who are plus-sized, are relegated to. Behind the scenes, Riley says she fought for her character "to have a voice" but eventually realized her efforts were useless. "It finally got to a point where I was like, this is not my moment. I'm not who they're choosing, and this is just going to have to be a job for me for now," she says. "And, that's okay because it pays my bills, I still get to be on television, I'm doing more than any other Black plus-sized women that I'm seeing right now on screen."
The actress can recognize now that she was navigating issues associated with trauma and low self-esteem at the time. She now knows that she's long had anxiety and depression and can recognize the ways in which she was triggered by how the cult-like following of the show conflicted with her individual, isolated experiences behind the scenes. But she was in her early '20s back then. She didn't yet have the language or the tools to process how she was feeling.
Riley says she eventually sought out medical intervention. "When you're in Hollywood, and you go to a doctor, they give you pills," she says, sharing a part of her story that she'd never revealed publicly before now. "[I was] on medication and developing a habit of medicating to numb, not understanding I was developing an addiction to something that's not fixing my problem. If anything, it's making it worse."
“[I was] on medication and developing a habit of medicating to numb, not understanding I was developing an addiction to something that’s not fixing my problem. If anything it’s making it worse.”
Credit: Ally Green
At one point, while in her dressing room on set, she rested her arm on a curling iron without realizing it. It wasn't until her makeup artist alerted her that she even realized her skin was burning. Once she noticed, she says she was "so zonked out on pills" that she barely reacted. Speaking today, she holds up her arm and motions towards a scar that remains from the incident. She sought help for her reliance on the pills, but it would still be years before she finally attended therapy.
This stress was only compounded by the trauma of growing up in poverty and the realities of being a "contract worker." "Imagine going from literally one week having to borrow a car to get to set to the next week being on a private jet to New York City," she says. After Glee ended, so did the rides on private planes. The fury of opportunities she expected to follow her appearance on the show failed to materialize. She wasn't even 30 yet, and she was already forced to consider if she'd hit her career peak.
. . .
We’re only four minutes into our Zoom call before Riley delivers her new adage to me. “My new mantra is ‘humility does not serve me.’ Humility does not serve Black women. The world works so hard to humble us anyway,” she says.
On this Thursday afternoon in April, the LA-based entertainer is seated inside her closet/dressing room wearing a cerulean blue tank top with matching shorts and eating hot wings. This current phase of healing hinges on balance. It’s about having discipline and consistency, but not at the risk of inflexibility. She was planning to head to the gym, for instance, but she’s still tired from the “exhausting” day before. Instead, she’s spent her day receiving a massage, eating some chicken wings, and planning to spend quality time with friends. “I’m not going to beat myself up for it. I’m not going to talk down to myself. I’m going to eat my chicken wings, and then tomorrow I’m [back] in the gym,” she says.
“My new mantra is ‘humility does not serve me.’ Humility does not serve Black women. The world works so hard to humble us anyway."
This is the balance with which she's been approaching much of her life these days. It's why she's worried less about whether or not people see her as someone who is humble. She'd rather be respected. "I think you should be a person that's easy to work with, but in the moments where I have to ruffle feathers and make waves, I'm not shying away from that anymore. You can do it in love, you don't have to be nasty about it, but I had to finally be comfortable with the fact that setting boundaries around my life – in whatever aspect, whether that's personal or business – people are not going to like it. Some people are not going to have nice things to say about you, and you gotta be okay with it," she says.
When Amber talks about the constant humbling of Black women in Hollywood, I think of the entertainers before her who have suffered from this. The brilliant, consistent, overqualified Black women who have spoken of having to fight for opportunities and fair pay. Aretha Franklin. Viola Davis. Tracee Ellis Ross. There's a long list of stars whose success hasn't mirrored their experiences behind the scenes.
Credit: Ally Green
If Black women outside of Hollywood are struggling to decrease the pay gap, so, too, are their wealthier, more famous peers.
Riley says there’s been progress in recent years, but only in small ways and for a limited group of people. “This business is exhausting. The goalpost is constantly moving, and sometimes it’s unfair,” she says. But, I have to say it’s the love that keeps you going.”
“There’s no way you can continue to be in this business and not love it, especially being a plus-sized Black woman,” she continues. “We’re still niche. We’re still not main characters.”
"There’s no way you can continue to be in this business and not love it, especially being a plus-sized Black woman. We’re still niche. We’re still not main characters.”
Last year, Riley starred alongside Raven Goodwin in the Lifetime thriller Single Black Female (a modern, diversified take on 1992’s Single White Female). It was more than a leading role for the actress, it also served as proof that someone who looks like her can front a successful project without it hinging on her identity. It showcased that the characters she portrays don’t “have to be about being a big girl. It can just be a regular story.”
Riley sees her work in music as an extension of her efforts to push past the rigid stereotypes in entertainment. Take her appearance on The Masked Singer, for instance. Riley said she decided to perform Mayer’s “Gravity” after being told she couldn’t sing it years earlier. “I wanted to do ‘Gravity’ on Glee. [I] was told no, because that’s not a song that Mercedes would do,” she says. “That was a full circle moment for me, doing that on that show and to hear what it is they had to say.”
As Scherzinger praised the “anointed” performance, a masked Riley began to cry, her chest heaving as she stood on stage, her eyes shielded from view. “You have to understand, I have really big names – casting directors, producers, show creators – that constantly tell me ‘I’m such a big fan. Your talent is unmatched.’ Hire me, then,” she says, reflecting on the moment.
Recently, she’s been in the studio working on original music, the follow-up to her independently-released debut EP, 2020’s Riley. The sequel to songs such as the anthemic “Big Girl Energy” and the reflective ballad “A Moment” on Riley, this new project hones in on the singer’s R&B roots with sensual grooves such as the tentatively titled “All Night.” “You said I wasn’t shit, turns out that I’m the shit. Then you called me a bitch, turns out that I’m that bitch. You said no one would want me, well you should call your homies,” she sings on the tentatively titled “Lately,” a cut about reflecting on a past relationship. From the forthcoming project, xoNecole received five potential tracks. Fans likely already know the strengths and contours of Riley’s vocals, but these new songs are her strongest, most confident offerings as an artist.
“I am so much more comfortable as a writer, and I know who I am as an artist now. I’m evolving as a human being, in general, so I’m way more vulnerable in my music. I’m way more willing to talk about whatever is on my mind. I don’t stop myself from saying what it is I want to say,” she says.
Credit: Ally Green
“Every era and alliteration of Amber, the baseline is ‘Big Girl Energy.’ That’s the name of her company,” her manager Brooks says, referencing the imprint through which Riley releases her music after getting out of a label deal several years ago. “It’s just what she stands for. She’s not just talking about size, it’s in all things. Whether it’s putting your big girl pants on and having to face a boardroom full of executives or sell yourself in front of a casting agent. It’s her trying to achieve the things she wants to do in life.”
Riley says she has big dreams beyond releasing this new music, too. She’d love to star in a rom-com with Winston Duke. She hasn't starred in a biopic yet, but she’d revel in the opportunity to portray Rosetta Tharpe on screen. She’s determined that her previous setbacks won’t stop her from dreaming big.
“I think one of my superpowers is resilience because, at the end of the day, I’m going to kick, scream, cry, cuss, be mad and disappointed, but I’m going to get up and risk having to deal with it all again. It’s worth it for the happy moments,” she says.
If Riley seems more comfortable and confident professionally, it’s because of the work she’s been doing in her personal life.
She’d previously spoken to xoNecole about becoming engaged to a man she discovered in a post on the site, but she called things off last year. For Valentine’s Day, she revealed her new boyfriend publicly. “I decided to post him on Valentine’s Day, partially because I was in the dog house. I got in trouble with him,” she says, half-joking before turning serious. “The breakup was never going to stop me from finding love. Or at least trying. I don’t owe anybody a happily ever after. People break up. It happens. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was terrible, hunny. I had to get the fuck up out of there. You find happiness, and you enjoy it and work through it.”
Credit: Ally Green
"I don’t owe anybody a happily ever after. People break up. It happens. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was terrible, hunny. I had to get the fuck up out of there. You find happiness and you enjoy it and work through it.”
With her ex, Riley was pretty outspoken about her relationship, even appearing in content for Netflix with him. This time around is different. She’s not hiding her boyfriend of eight months, but she’s more protective of him, especially because he’s a father and isn’t interested in becoming a public figure.
She’s traveling more, too. It’s a deliberate effort on her part to enjoy her money and reject the trauma she’s developed after experiencing poverty in her childhood. “I live in constant fear of being broke. I don’t think you ever don’t remember that trauma or move past that. Now I travel and I’m like, listen, if it goes, it goes. I’m not saying [to] be reckless, but I deserve to enjoy my hard work.”
After everything she’s been through, she certainly deserves to finally let loose a bit. “I have to have a life to live,” she says. “I’ve got to have a life worth fighting for.”
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Janelle Monáe's Reveals The Real Reason Why She Stopped Wearing Her Signature Tuxedos
Singer and actress Janelle Monáe exemplifies how change can be a powerful catalyst for growth and transformation.
Monáe, who rose to fame in 2010 following the release of her debut album, The ArchAndroid, captivated fans' hearts with her powerful vocals, catchy tunes, and style. Around that time period, when various female artists were known to wear provocative ensembles on stage, the "Tightrope" songstress set herself apart by wearing her signature black and white suits and continued to do so for almost a decade.
In the later years of her career, after the release of her studio albums The Electric Lady in 2013 and 2018's Dirty Computer, many began to notice the shift in Monáe's artistry and fashion, which some widely praised.
Although the now 37-year-old rarely addressed the reason behind the transformation over the years, that would all change when Monáe sat down with radio personality Angie Martinez on her IRL podcast earlier this month.
During the interview, Monáe --who was promoting her latest album, "The Age of Pleasure"-- opened up about her mental health struggles, how she would cope, and why she chose to live in freedom.
Janelle On Why She Stopped Wearing Her Signature Suits All the Time
Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
In the May discussion, the "I Like That" vocalist revealed she suffers from anxiety, which she claimed would occur around "winter to spring."
Monáe added that when she has her bouts with anxiety, she tends to turn to food as a coping mechanism. Further in the interview, the "Lipstick Lover" singer disclosed that her emotional eating habits caused a weight fluctuation and that she could no longer fit into the suits she once wore earlier in her career.
Monáe explained that even though she tried to diet and exercise to return to her smaller figure, she ultimately stopped and made peace with herself with the help of therapy because she acknowledged that she isn't the same person she was nearly a decade ago and shouldn't try to be even if it was a highly "celebrated" version.
"I'm petite, but it can get thick... When I couldn't fit them suits anymore, and I was like, 'Oh my God, what is going on?' I would be dieting, running, or exercising, trying to fit into [it]. I'm just like, 'No. No, we're here. This is where we are.' We [are] not about to be utilizing life trying to be an old version of ourselves. No matter how celebrated that version of me was. I'm here. I'm here," she said.
Janelle On Freedom
As the topic shifted to freedom and what that meant to Monáe, the "Primetime" vocalist shared that in this new era of her life, she enjoys it because she can boldly express herself however she wants and honor who she is as a person right now.
Monáe also revealed that she had found ways to become a better artist and the best version of herself because of her freedom.
"What is the new version of freedom? What does that feel like? That's usually when I feel the most free is when artistically, I can honor exactly who I am right now," she stated. "I feel most free as a human when I can honor exactly who I am right now."
Monáe's fourth studio album, The Age of Pleasure, is set to be released on June 9.
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