Can you believe we've made it to the last month of the year already?! Well, December has a few gifts in store for us before we start the new year.
On the 2nd, Jupiter begins its transit through Capricorn, teaching us the value of hard work and discipline. Mercury moves into optimistic Sagittarius on the 9th, getting us in the holiday spirit with a chatty Full Moon in Gemini following shortly behind on the 12th. Luck favors the bold around the 15th as Jupiter trines Uranus. The planet of love moves into Aquarius on the 20th, placing an emphasis on connecting with like-minded folks that strive to make an impact on the world. The Sun moves into Capricorn on the 21st, followed by the onset of eclipse season with a New Moon on the 26th. It's out with the old and in with the new just in time for the new year.
Check out what's in store for your zodiac sign below:
The month begins with expansive Jupiter moving into Capricorn where it will be transiting through your career sector for the next year. This time frame requires you to match your big faith with practical efforts that will ultimately have you reaping some major benefits around this time next year. On the 9th, Mercury moves into Sagittarius, putting you in a position to inspire others with the wisdom you have to share. This transit encourages you to go back to school or attend those seminars to flex your brainpower. Now that we're out of the retrograde, this is a perfect time to plan that international getaway as well.
The Full Moon on the 12th is supportive for finalizing and releasing any projects you've been working on behind the scenes. Use this time to also reassess your personal narrative. Around the 15th, good luck may be knocking on your door with a raise or career move that will put you on the map. On the 20th, Venus moves into Aquarius to help you attract the right people to meet your goals. The month winds down with a New Moon solar eclipse on the 26th, inviting you to release your fears about stepping into your personal power. You're a born leader, babe. It's time to show it to the world.
After transiting through Sagittarius for the past year, Jupiter moves into your sister sign on the 2nd, requiring you to get more serious when it comes to your spiritual development. Going back to school, attending seminars, or doing some in-depth research will benefit your quest for greater spiritual awareness. Opportunities to share your wisdom as a teacher will likely present themselves along the way. On the 9th, Mercury moves into truth-seeking (and telling) Sagittarius, making this a good time to book that therapy session or call up that person you consider as your soft place to land.
The Full Moon on the 12th encourages you to take a look at your finances which will require you to reassess your money mindset. Be mindful of the ways you sabotage your earning potential due to scarcity complex. Around the middle of the month, you're invited to embrace your inner genius and act upon the brilliant ideas that are flooding your beautiful mind. On the 20th, Venus moves into Aquarius, helping you attract the right people to help you advance professionally. If the seasonal depression is taking a toll on you, plan that getaway to somewhere warm and sunny. The month ends with a New Moon Solar eclipse on the 26th, inviting you to check in with your higher self to make sure you're still walking your path of purpose.
The month begins with Jupiter moving into Capricorn where it will be for the next year, inviting you to take the hero's journey through your psyche. It may not be the easiest energy to deal with but it will teach you the value of showing up to face some of your deepest fears pertaining to matters of intimacy and sexuality. On the 9th, Mercury moves into Sagittarius, stimulating your relationships with more passion, making it a great time to share that vibrant energy of yours with your loved ones. Your Full Moon takes place on the 12th and you're the center of attention (and the drama if you're more worried about being right than simply sharing your thoughts at the holiday gathering).
Around the 15th, a sudden revelation is the catalyst you need to transform your money mindset. Your dreams, along with guidance from your ancestors, are granting you with some amazing ideas to increase your abundance. You may even receive some financial support from an unexpected source. On the 20th, Venus moves into your sister sign and you could be meeting someone in an educational setting or while traveling. An opportunity to share your work could provide some extra holiday cash so don't be afraid to share your unconventional ideas. The New Moon Solar eclipse on the 26th encourages you to celebrate the transformation you're in the midst of—regardless of how tough it is. Remember, dahling, it takes pressure to make diamonds.
Over the next year, your close relationships will help you experience the most growth with Jupiter moving into Capricorn on the 2nd. During this transit, you and bae may be tying the knot (or you'll meet that special someone you can do life with). Favorable business connections are also likely under this influence. When Mercury moves into Sagittarius on the 9th, be mindful of what you discuss amongst your coworkers. Err on the side of caution when it comes to expressing your political or religious views. On the 12th, the Full Moon in Gemini helps you get clear on what (and who) needs to be let go before stepping into 2020.
Around the middle of the month, luck favors you thanks to all of your networking efforts. As the saying goes, "It's not what you know. It's who you know." On the 20th, Venus moves into Aquarius, making you a magnet for financial support; thus it's the perfect time to apply for that loan or line of credit. Towards the end of the month, most of the action takes place in Capricorn—your relationship house. They don't call this time of year engagement season for no reason. If romance isn't your top priority, expect for your clientele to expand or to start that new job just in time for the new year. On the 26th, the New Moon Solar eclipse encourages you to seek more balance within new and existing partnerships that will be a part of the legacy you're building together.
After Jupiter spent the last year expanding your creativity, its transit through Capricorn requires you to get more disciplined regarding your daily routines. Practice makes perfect, whether your aim is to transform your physical body, improve your health, or to simply tap into a better rhythm in your day-to-day activities. On the 9th, Mercury moves into Sagittarius to boost your confidence even more while also bringing opportunities for romance into your life. The Full Moon on the 12th makes you the center of attention amongst your friends but what's new to the most popular sign of the zodiac? If you're big into social media, you could go viral around this time.
Around the middle of the month, luck is on your side professionally. The long hours and hard work haven't gone unnoticed. Your inner genius will be activated at this time so make sure to jot down your ideas. On the 20th, Venus moves into Aquarius and partnerships (romantic and business) prosper when there's a like-minded vision that can be accomplished in unison. The Sun moves into Capricorn on the 21st, shortly followed by the New Moon eclipse on the 26th. It's time to examine any bad habits that affect your mental and physical health. Make sure to compartmentalize your inner critic, which has a sneaky way of distracting you from your purpose.
December begins with Jupiter moving into Capricorn where it'll transit through for the next year, inspiring you to reach new heights in your creativity and self-expression. If you're open to romance, this can also be a good time to start dating again. On the 9th, Mercury moves into Sagittarius, getting you in the spirit to spend time with your family. The Full Moon on the 12th calls for celebration of a long-awaited professional goal. On the same day, Chiron goes direct and you're feeling more empowered to march to the beat of your own drum. There are followers and there are leaders. Trust your abilities, and the temporary discomfort, that comes with paving a new lane.
Around the 15th, a sudden opportunity to share your creation or expertise may present itself. On the 20th, Venus moves into Aquarius and a fellow co-worker could finally shoot their shot (or vice versa). During this transit, you'll be more attracted to people that can keep up with your Mercurial mind. Volunteering at a local organization can also be a great way to meet someone. On the 21st, Capricorn season begins with a New Moon Solar eclipse following behind on the 26th. It's time to wrap up one project to make room for the new creations you're incubating this winter. Make sure to let your inner child out to play these last few days of the year before it's back to business in 2020!
The month kicks off with Jupiter moving into Capricorn, bringing your focus to family and home over the next year. You may be adding a new addition to your family, buying a home, or investing in real estate during this transit. On the 9th, Mercury spices up your communication, making you a joy to be around given the extra enthusiasm you're experiencing. Be a voice of encouragement to those around you! The Full Moon on the 12th helps you straighten out any immigration or travel affairs. If you're in school, it's finally time to wrap up the semester for a much-needed break (and vacation). A much-needed "aha" moment occurs around the 15th, regarding intimacy blocks that were developed in your childhood.
On the 20th, Venus invites you to do more of what you love whether that's getting back to that creative hobby or allowing yourself to indulge in your fav rom-coms. Capricorn season officially begins on the 21st, encouraging you to connect with your roots. The New Moon Solar eclipse on the 26th helps you break free from generational patterns that strip you of your personal autonomy. Once Mercury moves into Capricorn on the 28th, you're ready to move past the mental barriers that inhibit you from living life by your design.
Over the next year, Jupiter is helping you expand through learning and communication. Some of you may be going back to school or embracing the power of your voice through writing or vlogging. On the 9th, Mercury has you focused on your hustle, making this a good time to profit off of your area of expertise. The Full Moon on the 12th invites you to see some of your most traumatic experiences through a clearer lens. You have the power to transform your pain into something beautiful. Around the 15th, good news from a significant other or business partner has you feeling motivated to keep striving towards your goals.
On the 20th, Venus moves into Aquarius which has you in homebody mode, preferring to spend time with your loved ones in the comfort of your own space discussing the latest trending topics. The Sun officially moves into Capricorn on the 21st with a New Moon Solar eclipse taking place on the 26th. You're encouraged to be mindful of the voice you're projecting out into the world. Your words have more power than you know. Mercury moving into this same part of your chart on the 28th emphasizes the importance of how you communicate which has the potential to place you in a position of greater influence.
After spending the past year in your sign, Jupiter moves into Capricorn to expand your finances and enhance your self-esteem. On the 9th, Mercury moves into your sign, making this a busy time for you. Stay on top of your text messages, emails, and DMs so you don't miss out on those important invitations. The Full Moon on the 12th finalizes a chapter within a key relationship or business agreement so you can make space for something better. Around the 15th, unexpected money may be gifted to you from some work you completed a while ago.
Venus moves into Aquarius on the 20th, making you a magnet for attention on your social media platforms. Online dating is also favorable during this transit as well. If you're not interested in romance, this could be a great time to feel a sense of community amongst your followers or subscribers. Towards the end of the month, most of the action takes place in Capricorn with a New Moon Solar eclipse on the 26th encouraging you to sift through your scarcity complex so you can finally reap the abundance that has your name on it. On the 28th, Mercury helps you get focused on building more long-term security for yourself and your loved ones.
The month begins with Jupiter moving into your sign for the next year, which should be a bit of a reprieve with the pressure of Saturn in your sign. You'll still be required to bust your ass but the rewards will be that much sweeter over the months to come as this transit stretches you in ways your favorite lover could never. On the 9th, Mercury intensifies your dreams while also helping you burn through karmic baggage that needs to be laid to rest before 2020. The Full Moon on the 12th may reveal a hidden enemy in the workspace. Don't fret though. Clearly, you've got something worth hating on.
A sweet, romantic surprise may await you around the 15th. Either that or your creative genius will inspire the next R&B sensation within yourself. On the 20th, Venus helps you attract financial opportunities and connections that are in alignment with your purpose. During this time, a mental connection is top priority for you when it comes to love. The month winds down with the Sun entering your sign (happy birthday!) and a New Moon Solar eclipse inviting you to shed the layers of the old you to embrace the new form that is to come in the new year.
December kicks off with Jupiter moving into Capricorn, helping you to expand spiritually over the next year through a more disciplined approach than you may be used to. On the 9th, Mercury has you excited to connect with new and old friends alike during the holiday season. There could even be discussions about how you all can collaborate towards a joint effort or cause. The Full Moon on the 12th invites your inner child out to play. It's time to reveal that creative project or indulge in some wining and dining. Embrace pleasure and allow yourself to get whisked away in adventure, whether it's a short vacay or trying out that wine bar that's been on your list for a while.
Your ancestors may be trying to get through to you around the 15th. Pay attention to your dreams and any synchronicities that remind you of their presence. On the 20th, Venus moves into your sign and all eyes are on you. This is one of the most favorable times of the year for you to receive all of the blessings and abundance you so rightfully deserve. The Sun moves into Capricorn on the 21st and is shortly followed by the New Moon Solar eclipse on the 26th. What are you being called to release? What lessons have you mastered at this point? Karmic closure is available to you as long as you're willing to surrender to the process and embrace the void that will soon be filled with new life.
After spending the last year in Sagittarius, Jupiter moves into Capricorn on the 2nd, helping you expand your social network and online presence. This transit won't be easy but it will provide you with long-lasting results as long as you stay committed to the vision. On the 9th, Mercury lights the fire beneath your ass, motivating you to boss up professionally. Your superiors are loving your optimistic, go-getter attitude, which makes you a prime candidate for a raise or promotion. The Full Moon on the 12th brings some family drama to the surface for resolution. This could also indicate a time in which you change residence as well.
Around the 15th, you could receive some good news that allows you to share your work on a larger scale. Venus, planet of love and money, draws in some assistance from an unexpected source. Pay close attention to your dreams as they provide insight into beliefs that are blocking your flow of abundance. On the 21st, the Sun moves into Capricorn followed by a New Moon Solar eclipse on the 26th. It's time to ditch the self-sabotaging agenda that keeps you stuck in unfulfilling friendships. Moving into 2020, you'll be connecting with your real tribe that's down to support you and your dreams 100%.
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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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Queen Latifah On Her Journey To Self-Acceptance: 'I've Been Trying To Maintain My Freedom To Be Me'
Actress and rapper Dana "Queen Latifah" Owens is defying societal standards by refusing to be confined in a box regarding her personal and professional life.
Owens, who has been a part of the entertainment industry for over three decades, is widely recognized for her empowering songs and the variety of acting roles she has obtained throughout her career, among other things. The list includes Living Single, Set It Off, Chicago --with which she earned an Oscar nomination-- Just Wright, Girls Trip, and most recently, The Equalizer series on CBS.
Owens is also very tight-lipped about her personal life. However, in 2021, The Last Holiday actress showed appreciation to Eboni Nichols, who is reportedly her partner, and their son Rebel after receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award.Since then, Owens has revealed why she doesn't want to be defined as anything but herself and how she maintains her sense of freedom. In a resurfaced video from theGrio Awards, Owens opened up about those topics when she accepted the Television Icon Award for her past contributions
In a clip uploaded on theGrio's Instagram account last week, Owens explained that she often had to fight to be herself because "the world" kept trying to put her in a box based on what society thought a woman should be.
"My whole life, I feel like I've been trying to maintain my freedom to be me. And the world is trying to put these things on me to stop me from being who I am," she said.
Further into the speech, Owens explained that although many would have their own opinion about her from what the media spews out, she would continue to be herself by wearing "beautiful gowns and dresses," playing in the dirt, participating in basketball games with men and loving who she loves because that's what makes her happy.
The Beauty Shop star also added that despite her celebrity status, she would continue to show respect for others because that's who she is as a person and how she was raised.
"So I wear these beautiful gowns and dresses because I want to because that's part of me. I play in the dirt. I play basketball with the boys because that's me,” she stated. "I love who I love because that's me. I love all of you who have supported me. I give you your respect. I don't have to be above you because that's me. I know me."
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