We often see celebrities as characters rather than real people. One of the disadvantages of putting your art on display for the world to see, is the level of vulnerability that you have to offer to people that don't even know you.
Social media gives us intimate access to the stars that we know and love and give us the opportunity to be all up in the kool-aid and not know the flavor. It takes tough skin to survive in an industry where you're constantly a target for others to cast their unhappiness.
Lately, celebrities like Cardi B., Rihanna, and Brandy are clapping back at critics who believe that entertainers should be superhuman and impervious to living real lives. Brandy recently did an interview with True Exclusive and discussed embracing the right to do what makes her happy regardless of how others feel about it. Tabloids have often speculated that the singer's weight gain was due to pregnancy, but she said the change was due to doing whatever tf she wants.
"You don't know what's going on in my stomach. I went on a food cation because I've been eating clean for 7 years; in the gym, playing tennis. I'm like yo, I'm tired of this crazy discipline I need something to eat. I want some pasta, some pizza and some cake. I want something other than salmon, broccoli, asparagus and water. It's been very tough for me to want to get off of it."
Her "foodcation" is something I think we all can relate to. It is important that we're careful what we put in our bodies, but there also comes a time to live a little, and that's okay. Brandy said that despite her doubters, she will continue to do what she does best: share love.
"I know exactly who I am. The gift that is inside of me is God and that has truly humbled me. With that humility came security. A guard for the heart of gold. I know that my heart is pure, I know that I will give my last to a stranger. I have the ability to unconditionally love people."
Brandy's personal life has been in the spotlight since she was a teenager and social media made the connection between she and her fans much stronger. The strength that it took for her to be transparent with the entire world for most of her life is immeasurable, and certainly took a toll on the singer's emotional health.
"With that kind of purity comes a very a sensitive heart. I'm a very sensitive person, I can cry at the drop of a dime. I'm made to feel, made to sing, emote emotion. I feel everything and a little bit heavier than the average person. So with knowing that God is the gift inside of me, there became a confidence."
Often, confidence can be misinterpreted for vanity by people that do not recognize that confidence in themselves. Those people often take the opportunity to doubt your dream and spitefully criticize your hustle.
"Sometimes people come for my life and I've watched it for years. I get a kick out of reminding people...You just can't come on my page hiding behind an identity. I'm not bothered, I just have a voice now and I use it from time to time. It's liberating for me because for so long people were calling me things that were distasteful and things you would never say to my face. I would never go to someones page and post negative things about them. I don't even formulate negative opinions about people, I don't have time...I could never do that to hurt somebody on purpose."
She specifically noted an incident where radio host Charlamagne Tha God asked her brother, Ray J. if she was pregnant (and I don't believe I have to say this in 2018 but that's body shaming please stop it). The singer told True Exclusive:
"The Charlamagne thing really hurt my feelings. He said it knowing that I'm not pregnant. It was an intention to hurt me and then you did it in front of my brother. I don't care about what you say but its your intention."
And that's the bottom line. We have to stop acting like the people that we follow on social media are not real people. Like Brandy, I picked up a couple pounds over the past few years but f*ck it. That doesn't mean I'm ready to wake up to a post or video on social media speculating if I'm pregnant. Reality TV makes it seem like the entertainers that we love are intangible characters, but they are actually just people like you and me, trying to live their best lives before the sun goes down.
"I really care about being great, and being my greatest self. When I don't believe in a song I shouldn't do it. You can't reach everybody if you don't believe in your song and believe in yourself on the song. Yes I can make it sound good but if I don't believe in it, it's not going to go anywhere."
Brandy said in the interview that she's currently working on a new album and knows that her fans will continue to receive the very best of her. To watch the full interview click here or watch below.