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Janelle Monae Won't Succumb To Society's Expectations To Be A Wife & Mother By Age 30
Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AFI

Janelle Monae Won't Succumb To Society's Expectations To Be A Wife & Mother By Age 30

Celebrity News

At my age, my older sister was married with a baby, a stepson and a conventional 9 to 5 making more than 40 racks a year. At 26, I couldn't be further from that truth, and I'm cool with that. While some may disagree, as a single, childless, work from home creative professional, I'm unapologetically living my best life. While at my age she may have sought stability and security, right now, I'm more interested in adventure and according to our favorite afrofuturistic songstress, ain't nothing wrong with that.

Society teaches women that we need accolades to be whole. Both our talent and our tenacity are often overshadowed by our ability to meet a man at the altar and birth some babies, but in a recent interview with ESSENCE, Janelle Monae says f*ck that.

As a openly pansexual Black woman in the entertainment industry, Janelle is constantly bombarded with questions of who, what, where, and why when it comes to her sexuality, but according to the 33-year-old Dirty Computer singer, she's found wholeness all by herself:

"I should…always be proud to be all of me. My sexuality is just a part of me. I'm also a Black woman. I'm also an artist. I'm also a daughter. I'm also a future mother, hopefully, and so I am a complete person and I'm not ashamed of any part of who I am."

According to Janelle, she's just as sick of the "when are you going to settle down and have some kids" question as we are. Your biological clock will run your life if you let it, but Janelle says she's on her own time.

"That is what I am and when the time is right it shall happen and I will have an incredible partner. I'm not concerned with that at all."

It's 2019, honey, and women no longer give any f*cks about societal deadlines and expectations. Tracee Ellis Ross said her career went into overdrive after she hit age 40. Tamron Hall gave birth to her miracle baby at 48. Halle Berry is still putting our summer bodies to shame at 52. Let's be real, is there anything black women can't do? And according to the list of some of the most legendary queens of all time, age ain't nothing but a number, sis.

Whether you get married at 25 or 52, Janelle is living proof that we are the authors of own lives. The award-winning entertainer shared that the expectation to make our stories look like everyone else's can ultimately be deadly. She explained:

"We are living in a world where folks who are deciding to live out loud are being persecuted. They're being ostracized from communities. Some are even committing suicide because they don't feel socially accepted and they die out of loneliness."

Take a page out of Janelle's book sis, and move in your own time. It doesn't matter how fast you go if you're heading in the wrong direction.

Read Janelle's full interview here!

Featured image by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AFI

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Sitting in the theater getting ready to watch Nopefor the third time, I was excited, like a good film nerd, to see my friend's first-time reactions to the fun UFO horror-comedy. My heart sank immediately when a trailer for the film Till, which follows the life and legacy of Emmett Till's mother, Mamie, started playing first.

My knee-jerk reaction, of course, comes from years of watching film and TV that have exploited Black trauma onscreen and were created with little (if any) consideration for what could emotionally trigger the Black audience. The 1955 murder of Emmett Till is so heartbreaking and inherently violent; would this film make us live through that violence on screen?

Fortunately, no!

This week, before watching Gina Prince-Bythewood's incredible The Woman King, a featurette for Till played in place of a trailer and it soothed my fears.

"There will be no physical violence against Black people on screen," the film's award-winning director and co-writer Chinonye Chukwu says in the featurette. "I'm not interested in relishing in that kind of physical trauma. We're going to begin and end in a place of joy," she says.

Starring Danielle Deadwyler (whose heartfelt performance on HBO's Station Eleven stole the show) as Mamie, Till is a celebration of Mamie's tireless activism which sparked the civil rights movement that continues today and ultimately culminated in President Biden signing the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act into law just a few months ago in March 2022. "Mamie Till Mobley is a hero," says Alana Mayo, president of Orion Pictures, the production company behind the film. "I'm really, really committed to making movies not just by us, but for us," Mayo says in the featurette.

After a private screening of Till, this week, Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, tweeted that the film was "#Powerful" and "a must see."

Mamie's story of courage in the face of unspeakable tragedy deserves to be told--especially as we continue the fight for civil rights today. Knowing that the Black filmmakers behind the film are centering Black joy and aiming for our empowerment through the film makes a world of difference.

TILLis in theaters October 14.

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