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Teyonna Lanez is a brand strategist and producer with a love for doing the inner and outer work -- mindset shifting and marketing. The Atlanta native is passionate about social media storytelling and sharing positive affirmations to help people maintain inner peace despite external chaos. Connect with on Instagram @TeyonnaLanez or on her site TeyonnaLanez.com.
Last year, Meagan Good experienced two major transformations in her life. She returned to the small screen starring in the Amazon Prime series Harlem, which has been renewed for a second season and she announced her divorce from her longtime partner DeVon Franklin.
The divorce was a shock to many folks who praised their relationship due to how supportive they have been to one another in the public eye and how they displayed a positive image of what healthy, Black love looks like.
Fans were hurt over the couple splitting up, but no one hurt more than the individuals involved. Earlier this year, Meagan revealed in a Twitter Spaces conversation with xoNecole that their breakup was “the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced in my life.” Following the divorce announcement, DeVon told a reporter that the Harlem actress was still the love of his life.
Now, everybody’s crush is dishing on what she’s learned since her 9-year marriage ended. Over the weekend, she was honored by Hollywood Confidential and received the Icon award for her decades-long career in acting and she opened up about finding herself.
"I've learned to not be as much of a people pleaser," she said in an interview with PEOPLE. "I've learned that not everybody's going to get you or like you, and that's okay. And knowing who your tribe is and being really thankful for that, and knowing sometimes they're not your tribe — that's okay too."
The 40-year-old wants to make sure she is using this time "loving and treating people with respect regardless, and never letting how people treat you change the integrity of who you want to be. I think in this season especially, I'm learning to live again in a different way."
She acknowledged the many changes that she faced last year and finds the success rewarding although she is still working through everything.
"It's been a lot of changes like going through a divorce and having a hit TV show where I'm playing the character of my dreams and having massive support from Amazon," she said.
"It's like, 'All right, Lord. I'm walking this out, figuring it out,'" she added. "It's just about being present and being really thankful and just taking everything in as it's coming. I think that's the biggest thing for me in the season [is] just being present and every single day and being really thankful for my quality of life and the people I get to do life with."
Meagan is gearing up to shoot the second season of Harlem and shared that she planned to move to the Big Apple for the time being.
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Featured image by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Deadline Hollywood
Mental health awareness is at an all-time high with many of us seeking self-improvement and healing with the support of therapists. Tucked away in cozy offices, or in the comfort of our own homes, millions of women receive the tools needed to navigate our emotions, relate to those around us, or simply exist in a judgment-free space.
For some, finding a therapist is as simple as pulling up a website, reading a few bios, and choosing a clinician. But for many Black women, finding a therapist that sees us as the multi-faceted beings that we are, and understands our unique experiences, can be a precarious affair. Therapists and clients are bound together by respect, trust, and vulnerability. And just like any relationship, it’s a delicate dance to find the right clinician that gives you the space to show up as your authentic self while maintaining a healthy, productive connection.
xoNecole recently chatted with seven women about the process they took to find the therapist that was ‘The One’ and how therapy has impacted them. Here’s what they had to say.
Courtesy of Destiny Oribhabor
My first time going to therapy was around 10-12 years ago and it has literally changed my life. It led to internal healing from emotional baggage and childhood wounds. It helped me become self-aware about myself and my triggers. It helped me have hard conversations with family members, which has led to those relationships being restored. Therapy has also reminded me that healing is a continuous cycle and there is no shame when you have to go back to therapy.
I’ve had various counseling stints over the past 12 years, and I’ve gone the recommendation and directory route. I had a 15-minute consultation to understand the counselor’s process before committing my time and coins! The consultations are so important because you get a peek into that particular counselor’s process. On my journey, my preference has been that my counselor must be a Christian counselor. As I have evolved, my preference changed to a Christian counselor who was also Black. I knew that I wanted a counselor that would give me homework, and also give me tools that I could use after the sessions. My counselor not only helped me with identifying the root (hello, childhood) but also provided tools and affirmations that helped me process when I was in a moment.
Due to the pandemic, I saw a counselor for several months last year who created space for me. Upon getting to the root of my battle with unworthiness and savior complex, she saw through when I would apologize for my tears and emotions. She could see through the times I would try to act unbothered. She stated, “These 50 minutes are for you and you can cuss, be angry and not be okay.”
When she spoke to the part of me that tends to want to be strong for everyone and allowed me to be a mess, it broke me open in the best way! She gently challenged me, and that’s how I knew this was whom I needed to work with. I would tell another woman who doesn’t gel with her counselor that it is absolutely normal. Not every counselor is a good fit. When I learned about doing a pre-interview or consult before committing, that changed the game for me.
Author, Self-Healing Educator
Courtesy of Yasmine Cheyenne
Therapy has been the safe place that I know I can come to and share how I feel, receive advice or feedback, and truly be seen and heard. It's a non-reciprocal relationship, unlike friendships or relationships we might have with our family, so therapy is also one of the few places where I'm coming to get space held for me and not having to do any holding in return. As a healer, teacher, and coach it was imperative that I create spaces like that for myself, to ensure I'm filling myself up too. I think it's important to research the kinds of therapy that you're interested in (i.e. EMDR therapy, Trauma-Informed Therapists, Art Therapist, etc.) because it's helpful to see a therapist who is going to be able to support you in the way that feels most comfortable for you.
I've also used directories like Therapy for Black Girls or The Daring Way directory by Dr. Brené Brown to find therapists certified in particular ways of supporting clients. I wanted a therapist who had experience in supporting people who were already in wellness or primarily see therapists. Although I'm not a therapist, I support my clients through coaching and teaching self-healing, and I knew I needed a therapist who could support my unique needs.
"Therapy has been the safe place that I know I can come to and share how I feel, receive advice or feedback, and truly be seen and heard. It's a non-reciprocal relationship, unlike friendships or relationships we might have with our family, so therapy is also one of the few places where I'm coming to get space held for me and not having to do any holding in return."
I knew I found a therapist I could trust and wanted to work with when I recognized her ability to help me dig deeper with kindness, when I could feel understood without judgement, when I was able to apply what I was learning in my life with more ease, and when I felt held and safe throughout our sessions. I also love therapists who uphold strong boundaries and ensure that the session is a safe space for me to unpack, not me listening to their personal stories unless it is useful to the session.
[If you don’t gel with your current therapist] talk to your therapist about your feelings because they may be able to help you feel more at ease when they understand what you're experiencing. But if they aren't able to understand what you need, or if you don't start to feel a better connection, start looking for a new therapist. It's tough to get what you need out of therapy when you don't feel comfortable with your therapist, so advocate for yourself and look for something different that feels good!
Entrepreneur, On-Air Host
Courtesy of Nicola Ajayi
I’ve used therapy services in two different instances. The first was in conjunction with my husband in couples therapy. I also used therapy services as an individual when I was experiencing so many life stressors and needed resources and ways to help me manage them. In couples therapy, my husband and I learned ways to be patient with each other while giving grace for each other’s faults, how to actively listen to each other, and how to be empathetic to each other’s feelings and needs. Individual therapy allowed me to identify my “triggers” before I reached the boiling point and most importantly gave me a safe space to air my deep thoughts and feelings.
I think it’s so important to go to a therapist who shares the same values as you. First and foremost I knew I wanted a therapist who was a Christian, and I found both of my therapists by Googling Christian counseling in my area. I needed someone who tied the Word of God into our sessions as well as give us practical, everyday tools to utilize on a day-to-day basis. For marriage counseling, I specifically wanted a male therapist who was married with a family because I felt like my husband would relate to him more. For my individual sessions, I chose a female therapist who was married and had a family because I knew she and I would understand each other the most.
I thoroughly scoured my therapists’ websites and bios before deciding to hire them. I wanted to make sure they had the qualities listed above before even attending the first session. During the first trial session, I knew I would continue with both of them because in both instances I felt “understood” and heard. I never felt rushed or felt like they were not actively listening to me, which in turn allowed me to feel free to open up and let my guard down.
My advice for a woman who doesn’t gel with her current therapist would be to speak to them about her feelings to see why there is a disconnect. If you still don’t feel as if you gel during the next session, find someone else! After all, you are paying for a service so you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t get every benefit from your time together!
Dr. Eleanor Khonje
Courtesy of Dr. Eleanor Khonje
I went to therapy at a point in my life when I knew that therapy was really the only thing that was going to help me. After leaving an abusive marriage, I was completely broken. I was in the midst of finishing my Ph.D. when I decided to leave this relationship. I was working full-time for an international organization, and as wounded as I was, I knew that I could not afford to let anything in my life slip by or get out of control.
If I was going to move ahead powerfully, I needed to understand why I made so many excuses for such bad behavior from my ex. I needed to understand why I could be as smart as I am, have so much knowledge about feminist politics and gender-based violence, and yet could not discern that what I was experiencing at home was violence. And thank God I went to therapy because I got the answers I needed.
"I went to therapy at a point in my life when I knew that therapy was really the only thing that was going to help me... If I was going to move ahead powerfully, I needed to understand why I made so many excuses for such bad behavior from my ex."
A close friend of mine suggested the particular therapist I worked with. She worked with her in the past and assured me that, if anything, I should at least try her out. I initially thought it did not matter whether my therapist was female or male. [Because] I live in Switzerland, I definitely did not even think about a Black female therapist because I did not know where I would go to find one. I really needed a safe space where I could cry and cry without judgment and a space that would help me understand where my brokenness was coming from and how I could resolve it. But after carefully thinking about it, I knew I needed a female therapist.
My therapist was not someone I could potentially be friends with, she was not someone I particularly went home and talked about because I thought she was amazing. My therapist was a professional, whose role was to help me find solutions to my problems and find ways I could effectively move ahead. In that light, if I felt like she was not qualified to help me dismantle my emotions and heaviness, I would have left to find someone who would. I don’t need to be your friend, and I honestly don’t even need you to look like me, per se. But are you knowledgeable enough to help me resolve my stuff? Depending on that answer, I would advise another woman to find another therapist or change her mindset [on what she wants].
Emelda De Coteau
Writer, Podcast Host
Courtesy of Emelda De Coteau
Being in therapy is helping me address some core issues, which have shown up in my life, again and again—people-pleasing (which has some of its roots in childhood sexual trauma), setting healthy boundaries, and releasing mom guilt. My therapist also supports me in navigating the experiences of caring for our daughter who has some health challenges, while being there for my Dad, who is in at-home hospice care, all while juggling being a wife and entrepreneur. In the past, I asked friends [for recommendations]. More recently, I decided to head to Therapy for Black Girls, and do a deeper dive. I am so glad I took that additional step!
I wanted someone I could both connect with and relate to on a fundamental level. I felt an internal pull to prioritize working with a Black woman therapist who valued mindfulness as a practice, alongside faith and building a relationship with God. I wanted to find someone who could relate to my experience as a Black woman living in America and understood the importance of a holistic trauma-informed approach. And most importantly, I sought out a therapist who would hold me accountable, and walk alongside me on this journey of healing.
Throughout our first meeting, I felt an immediate sense of connection, like this woman understands me! She took time to read through the paperwork I submitted, asked follow-up questions, and set treatment goals with me. During our sessions, she also steers me towards action steps so that I am always growing and putting into practice new, healthy habits.
Don’t wait to find someone who speaks to your spirit, and will listen to you. Pray for guidance, but don’t use this as an excuse not to move forward. Our mental health is the foundation of all that we do, and it’s important we prioritize caring for it. Connect with communities like the one I’m part of, Spoken Black Girl, which centers on healing and well-being for Black women. They now have a directory where you can find women of color therapists and wellness providers.
Therapist, Wellness Coach
Courtesy of Minaa B.
Therapy has helped me build my emotional self-care and has helped me to manage the emotional challenges and roadblocks that I face in life. Overall, therapy has been a useful tool in helping me live in alignment with the growth and evolution that I desire. I used the directory PsychologyToday.com to connect with my therapist, but I believe word of mouth can be a great and useful strategy as well.
Personally, because I am a therapist myself, I specifically looked for a therapist who has worked with other therapists and has experience treating the issues that I am presenting with, and can provide guidance and educational insight. Working with a client who is also a therapist can be a unique experience so it's something I prefer to know upfront when talking to a therapist.
Our consultation call was warm and inviting, and she immediately knew how to address some of the needs and issues that I had. A first session is a big impression to make, and because I found her to be useful early on, it made it easier to trust the process as I continued on.
To be straightforward, find a new one [if you don’t gel with your current therapist]. There are too many good therapists out there and it makes no sense to force a relationship with someone who you have to pay and share intimate details of your life with if there is no trust or a genuine connection. Shopping around might be tiresome, but it's worth it.
Dr. Akua Boateng
Psychotherapist, Mental Health Media Expert
Courtesy of Dr. Akua Boateng
Therapy has provided me with a safe sounding board for all aspects of my life. I have a place where I am heard, seen, and valued. As a therapist, it can be a challenge to find a good fit. Fortunately, a colleague referred me to my therapist. I was looking for a Black therapist that was well trained, immensely compassionate, and with a similar cultural background to better understand my lived experience.
I knew I found the right therapist when I felt comfortable and experienced growth toward my goals. I would advise you to talk with your therapist [if there is a disconnect]. There might be reasons for the misalignment. Next, if challenges cannot be fixed pursue a therapist that serves you. Believe it or not, your current therapist wants you to find the right fit as well.
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Featured image courtesy of Yasmine Cheyenne
You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.
Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.
xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.
Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.
xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?
EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.
I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?
I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.
xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?
EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.
xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?
EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.
I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.
I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.
I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.
xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?
EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.
And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.
xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?
EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.
*This interview has been edited and condensed
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Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen
To be or not to be, that’s the big question regarding relationships these days – and whether or not to remain monogamous. Especially as we walk into this new awakening of what it means to be in an ethically or consensual nonmonogamous relationship. By no means are the concepts of nonmonogamy new, so when I say 'new awakening,' I simply mean in a “what comes around, goes around” way, people are realizing that the options are limitless. And, based on our personal needs in relationships they can, in fact, be customized to meet those needs.
I especially find it fascinating that more and more Black women are seemingly opening themselves up to consensual nonmonogamy, or CNM, and not in the way that centers men, but in a way that truly honors their needs and healing journey. Though I prefer monogamy myself, this is also because I have done the introspective work to know it is truly what I desire for where I am in my life, meanwhile it has my good people in a chokehold. In fact, in an effort to poke fun at those who choose a CNM relationship, mono people tend to throw jabs claiming that people are polygamous–calling the women involved foolish and naive.
I mention this because polyamory, along with nonmonogamy, is an umbrella term, and polygamy is but one form of polyamory that exists – and of course, it’s one of the most rigid and sexist structures to date. But as I’ve mentioned before, a helpful way to clear up any misunderstanding is realizing that polygamy requires you to be married to multiple partners, and for every Big Love episode you watched, I promise you it’s not as easy as it sounds in that it’s illegal in almost all of the United States. Polyamory on the other hand is not illegal as it does not require marriage – a legal transaction – to occur for the relationship to exist.
I was exposed to a new term after listening to Shan Boody's podcast Lovers and Friends and a particular episode titled "Is It Cheating? Or Is It An Open Relationship?" The dating term that I found particularly interesting is "free relationships." It made me realize there are more than a few words under the umbrella of open relationships and polyamory that could use clarification.
Here are six terms defining nonmonogamous relationship styles that I found to be curious and thought you might too.
1. Free Relationship
A free relationship is a relationship where the structure of the commitment is flexible for one reason or another, perhaps neither of you are quite sure about the relationship style yet but don’t desire such rigid boundaries. It allows you to explore the different types of relationships freely. For instance, you may start off as monogamous but decide that doesn’t work and renegotiate the boundaries and relationship structure in place.
A solo-poly relationship style is simply one when you’re single or independent, but exploring intimate relationships with others. If I’m being honest, I’m not entirely sure that it doesn’t differ from the concept of dating around. It’s the modern and politically correct way to say “playing the field.”
Monogamish is when a couple has a monogamous base in the house that is their relationship, but the boundaries around flirtation and sexual relations provide wiggle room. In this particular relationship style, there is sort of like a “when in Rome” – roam, vibe but with no attachment to anyone outside of your relationship.
4. Moonlighting or Swinging
Shan Boody provides the metaphor of a team sport for this type of consensual nonmonogamy stating that it’s similar to “a couple that bowls together.” Moonlighting is more often than not enjoying and entertaining other singles, couples, or throuples for sex and not an emotional connection. They even have clubs and events to help facilitate moonlighting er, swinging.
As swingers, you typically play together in some capacity! It doesn’t necessarily have to be a threesome but perhaps swapping partners. But, it’s also okay for one partner to maybe just take on a more voyeur-like role while the other is more hands-on.
5. Open Relationship
An open relationship has little to no boundaries, but please hear me when I say there are still boundaries as is the case with any type of relational transaction. But this allows space for multiple emotional and sexual connections outside the bounds of your relationship. Even to that end, you may choose to have a primary partner or you may instead choose to have multiple partnerships without prioritizing any of them.
This term translates to “many loves” and is an umbrella term that can also encompass concepts such as mono-poly, vee relationships, and triads (or a throuple) – which are all also umbrella terms. Polyamory is simply the implication that you are the opposite of monogamous by one of the aforementioned definitions or another.
Featured image by Getty Images
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Lizzo has never been the one to shy away from being her authentic self whether anyone likes it or not. But at the end of the day, she is human. The “Juice” singer has faced a lot of pushback for her body positivity social media posts but in the same vein has been celebrated for it. Like her social media posts, her music is also often related to women’s empowerment and honoring the inner bad bitch.
Recently, Lizzo appeared on Big Boy’s Neighborhood and discussed body confidence, how she handles social media trolls, her three-month vow of silence, and much more.
Here are eight things we learned about the multi-hyphenate artist.
Lizzo On Her Issues with Confidence Growing Up
"I’ve always been confident in my talent. I could always lean on my talent, my personality. Physically, [I] did not have the confidence that I have now. I had to work really hard for it because I was born with it and the world took it away from me and it was my job to get it back.
"Growing up watching television, growing up going to school, and being told through messaging and explicitly being told from people’s mouths that I was not beautiful. That I didn’t look good, my body wasn't good. My body was bad. I need to lose weight. I would be so much prettier if I was thin. That! And seeing movies not seeing myself, seeing magazines, not seeing myself. That kinda took my confidence away. Watching movies where fat people were made fun of where they’re the butt of the joke. They’re always out of breath. Never the love interest, never desirable. That is what took my confidence away from me because I believed it."
On Falling Victim to Society’s Views on Beauty
"I tried to change myself. I dieted most of my entire life, wore girdles and shapewear to school when I was in middle school. Uncomfortable girdles that was breaking [out my] skin [and] making me sweat profusely in class. I was embarrassed. I was ashamed of myself. I worked out in the gym all the time. I didn’t eat. I was obsessed with being thin ‘cause I thought that would make me pretty."
Lizzo On People Who Gave Her Confidence
"I never had a Lizzo, but there were people before me that gave me hope like Queen Latifah, Missy Elliott and it’s wild that now I’m in spaces where I can share spaces with Missy Elliott, Queen Latifah. I’ve done a song with Missy and a music video 'Tempo' and she gives me great advice. I saw Queen Latifah at the Songwriters Hall of Fame and she was like man, you are doing everything that you’re supposed to be doing. I wished I had seen this when I was coming up and I was like but you’re you. That’s what I saw. So to hear it from my inspiration from my influence is wild because it’s confirmation that I’m doing the right thing."
Lizzo On How She Handles Social Media
"I’m a part of a new generation of artists. I’m in a new class. It’s like me, Lil Nas X, and Doja Cat. We’re coming up in this age where this is normal. It’s almost like well, it’s a part of the game where you gotta get abused verbally on the internet by millions of strangers every day. You kind of make that a part of your identity as an artist and it’s actually sh–ty. We shouldn’t be putting up with this.
"I remember the first time I really talked to Adele on the phone was when I was getting a lot of backlash for just being a fat person and she called me and was like, ‘How the hell are you doing this?’ She was like it wasn’t like this when she was first coming out which goes to show how quickly the industry has changed. I think it’s fun to piss people off. I like pissing them off because it’s like what are you gonna do about it bitch and if you try to do something I’d beat yo' mothaf--kin' ass."
Lizzo On Being Genre-less
"I’m an artist and my art is this thing that evolves and it’s growing so whatever I feel like doing in that moment, I’ma do it. So right now, I’m a singer and I’m singing. My voice is the genre because I think also this new age of artists we have kind of taken the boundary line off of genres officially which is a beautiful thing because genre’s inherently racist. They used genre to keep white kids away from black music period, back in the day. Race music, whatever they wanted to call it, it was segregation, and the fact that we’ve played into it for so long just shows how much it works and we have turned that down and said, 'F–k that, nah.'
"It started with people saying, ‘I listen to everything.’ Remember when people used to be like no, I listen to rap or I listen to r&b or I listen to rock. People didn’t listen to other stuff and now it’s like nah, we listen to everything and I make everything."
Lizzo On Being a Fan of Her Own Music
"I love my stuff. I listen to my music all the time. It’s really the only music I listen to because I’m listening to my demos. Sometimes I be with my friends and they be like can you put on that song, I’m not gonna say the name of the song, but the unreleased ones, and I be like sure."
Lizzo On Her Gift of Discernment
"God doesn’t let people around me who not supposed to be around and this is a bigger conversation than who I’m touring with in general but my circle is tighter than my p–sy and it’s just as good."
Lizzo On Her Three-month Vow of Silence
"I didn’t talk to nobody and I lived in the house with my mom and my brother and we were in Denver, Colorado and I was just in a bad place in my life. A lot of horrible things happened back to back to back and I kind of shut down—I really just stopped talking. I just had nothing to say to nobody. I was angry with the world and I changed my life. I was gonna be this concert flutist.
I was gonna move to Paris, study at the Paris Conservatory, [and] try to be in a symphony. That was the dream and when that dream ended, I was like okay what are you gonna do now? I think in that three months I was like okay, you’re gonna be a singer, you’re gonna be a rapper, you’re gonna do music. And I was like this is delusional but in those three months, I completely convinced myself. It sounds nice like I took a monk’s vow but it hurt my mom’s feelings a lot. It hurt my brother’s feelings and it hurt me too to do that. I was out of my body. I was like what are you doing? Just talk to them and it was like no you have nothing to say.
Lizzo On Why She Didn't Speak For Months, SNL, Coachella, Dr. Dre, and Playing Flute | Interview
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