It is a new month, meaning xoNecole has a new batch of monthly horoscopes for each sun sign. March starts off on a high note with Mars transitioning into Gemini which brings out the social butterfly in us all. A magical New Moon in Pisces inspires us to believe in the miracles and the unseen forces that are always conspiring in our favor. Towards the end of the month, the Sun and Venus shift into Aries with the change of the season. Spring has finally arrived and is breathing new life into us all. The month wraps up with a Full Moon restoring balance to our lives and rewarding us for our past efforts.
Check out the horoscopes below to see what's in store for your zodiac sign this month!
Laci Jordan for xoNecole
The month kicks off with your ruling planet, Mars, entering Gemini which will have you busier than usual with your daily tasks. Take your time if you're signing any contracts over the next couple months since your mind is moving quicker than it already does. The New Moon on the 13th invites you to complete a chapter of your life that's been weighing you down. *Cues Erykah Badu's "Bag Lady"*. With Mars squaring off with this part of your chart, be mindful of emotional outbursts around this time. You can always save an important conversation for later if you're feeling overwhelmed.
On the 20th, the Sun shifts into your sign to reinvigorate your spirit for your birthday season. With Venus following behind the next day, the blessings finally start trickling in. People are attracted to your dynamic personality and willingness to take risks which is the attitude you need for the new opportunities coming your way. The month wraps up with a Full Moon encouraging you to reassess the dynamics of your closest relationships—both personal and professional. A severance of ties may be necessary if both parties can't get on the same page.
Laci Jordan for xoNecole
The month begins with Mars transitioning from your sign into Gemini which will have you exerting most of your energy towards finances and security. This is also a powerful time for overcoming any fears and insecurities that have been holding you back from living your best life. The New Moon on the 13th invites you to expand your social network, whether online or in real life. Your support system is an important part of your growth so lean into your community to secure your success!
The Sun shifts into Aries on the 20th, encouraging you to unplug from the daily grind to prioritize your self-care. You'll likely feel more tired when the Sun is in this part of your chart so give yourself the gift of rest by scheduling a nap into your daily routine. When Venus joins the Sun, you could find yourself on the receiving end of someone else's moodiness. See it for what it is and choose your battles wisely. In some cases, it's more satisfying to know why someone is acting out than to call them out on it. The month wraps up with a Full Moon, helping you kick a bad habit to the curb once and for all.
Laci Jordan for xoNecole
March begins with Mars leaving Taurus and entering your sign on the 3rd which will have you busier than usual over the next couple of months. You may have felt your energy lagging in January and February but you're in for a major shift with Mars transiting through Gemini. You're also more prone to accidents at this time, making it super important for you to be more present. On the 13th, the New Moon is ruffling your feathers when it comes to your career development. This challenging aspect can either make you or break you. Use this energy to fuel some much-needed change in this area of your life. Also consider ways in which you're giving your power to an authority figure and how you can reclaim your sovereignty.
On the 20th, the Sun shifts into Aries, highlighting your friends and social network. As the saying goes, "Teamwork makes the dream work." Gather together with some of your faves, especially if you have a lofty goal or idea that needs the support of others. When Venus joins the Sun, luck is on your side if you're looking for love on a dating app. People are captivated by your light-heartedness which will help you win over a romantic suitor or some new followers on the Gram. The month ends on a high note with a romantic Full Moon, encouraging you to enjoy a date night or some self-pleasure. Whatever you do—enjoy yourself!
Laci Jordan for xoNecole
The month begins with Mars entering Gemini on the 3rd, inviting you to disconnect from the daily grind to reconnect with your spiritual sustenance. Meditation and prayer will benefit you over the next couple of months along with an earlier bedtime. Your dreams will be extremely vivid so make sure to document them in a journal or your notes app to decipher the messages. On the 13th, a magical New Moon encourages you to take a different path when it comes to your spiritual beliefs. Be open to learning about new ideologies and practices that are in alignment with this more evolved version of yourself. Traveling can also provide you with a more expanded perspective about life.
On the 20th, the Sun enters Aries which has you feeling the pressure to make some changes in your career path. You have the power to be overcome any obstacles. Believe in yourself and trust that the Universe is always conspiring in your favor. When Venus enters this part of your chart, you could be attracting love and opportunities from someone in a position of influence. Hello, power couple! March wraps up with a Full Moon likely resulting in a relocation in the near future. This is also a supportive time for rectifying generational patterns so you can set your lineage up for success!
LeoLaci Jordan for xoNecole
The month kicks off with Mars entering Gemini on the 3rd which has you exerting your energy towards your friends and social networks. You've got the gift of gab during this transit so use it to your advantage. Just take your time when communicating as you'll have a tendency to spout out the first thing that comes to your mind. On the 13th, the New Moon could have you joining forces within a professional or personal relationship that will lend to greater financial security. This is the perfect time to apply for a loan or grant if you need some extra assistance.
The Sun shifts into your sister sign, Aries, on the 20th which has you feeling restless and ready for a new stamp in your passport. Now that Mercury Retrograde is over, you've got the go-ahead to plan your Spring Break vacation. When Venus meets up with the Sun, you could suddenly find yourself boo'd up with someone that you meet during your travels or who lives at a distance from you. Opportunities to share your expertise are also likely to arise during this transit, making this a good time to publish your e-book, launch that course, or host a Clubhouse room. March wraps up with a Full Moon on the 28th, placing you in the spotlight. Your ideas are next-level and people are eager to absorb anything you're willing to share. Social media is a powerful tool for you throughout the month so use it your advantage!
Laci Jordan for xoNecole
The month begins with Mars shifting into Gemini on the 3rd which has you hyper-focused on leveling up in your career path. Important conversations and meetings are bound to take place over the next couple months, assuring your long-term success and security. Just be mindful of butting heads with anyone in a position of power. Choose your battles wisely and play your cards right. The New Moon on the 13th invites you into a new partnership—whether personal or professional. Your excitement over this connection may take you by surprise which runs the risk of you getting carried away a little too soon. Pace yourself, boo! Long-lasting, solid connections take time to build.
On the 20th, the Sun shifts into Aries, illuminating some your deepest fears but also granting you the confidence to overcome any hurdles that inhibit you from living up to your fullest potential. This transit will challenge you to stop overthinking things and to act on your instincts instead. Trust your intuitive promptings! When Venus enters this part of your chart, you could find yourself on the receiving end of someone's projected anger. Keep your distance from this person to avoid any unnecessary drama and to not internalize the mess that they have going on. The month ends with a Full Moon, helping you resolve a financial matter that's been weighing heavy on you.
Laci Jordan for xoNecole
March kicks off with Mars entering Gemini on the 3rd which has you feeling restless for a much-needed vacation. Now that Mercury Retrograde is over, this is the perfect time to plan a Spring Break getaway. Your desire to learn during this transit is heightened as well, making this a supportive time to go back to school, stock up on some new books, or get into some extensive online research. The New Moon on the 13th encourages you to start a new exercise routine. This is also a powerful time to kick bad habits rooted in escapism. Ultimately, it's time to create a healthier lifestyle for yourself.
On the 20th, the Sun shifts into Aries, highlighting your partnerships and contractual agreements. It's important that you assert your needs within any imbalanced relationships. Awareness of your boundaries and expectations is only half the battle. You also have to communicate them to others. When Venus meets up with the Sun, you could suddenly be attracting new work opportunities due to your assertiveness. This isn't the time to play modest, love. Hype yourself up and sell yourself—especially if you're interviewing for a job. Highlighting your leadership skills will bode exceptionally well. The month wraps up with a Full Moon in your sign releasing you from that bad feeling of putting yourself first. Everyone else does it, so why shouldn't you?
ScorpioLaci Jordan for xoNecole
The month begins with Mars shifting into Gemini on the 3rd, inviting you into a deeper dialogue with your anxiety. If you're a busy body, you probably find it difficult to sit down for extended periods of time. Sometimes that fidgety behavior can reflect an inability to be present with your emotions and thoughts. If you need some help getting to the root of things, schedule a session with a therapist or get into a regular practice of writing in a journal. On the 13th, a magical New Moon marks a fresh start in regards to your living environment which could be heralding a relocation or a new addition to your home.
The Sun shifts into Aries on the 20th, granting you the vitality you need to get back into a fitness routine. It's officially time to come out of your hibernation season! When Venus meets up with the Sun, a budding workplace romance may be in the works for some. Over the next couple of months, make the extra effort to look your best—even when you're out running errands or grocery shopping. You'll be surprised who you bump into! The month comes to a close with a Full Moon helping you close out a karmic cycle that's been holding you up for quite some time.
SagittariusLaci Jordan for xoNecole
March kicks off with Mars entering Gemini on the 3rd which has you exerting most of your energy towards relationships and contractual agreements. Things can get a bit tense during this transit. Keep in mind, it's often not what you say but how you say it. Aim for an encouraging approach instead of a pushy one if you're trying to convince someone to get on the same page as you. On the 13th, the New Moon is stirring up a bit of tension in the home and family department which may be just the sign you need to remove yourself from an unhealthy environment. Relocating is supported during this time.
On the 20th, the Sun shifts into Aries, inviting you to indulge in romance and creativity in the next month. Your inner child needs more of your attention so make sure to nurture that aspect of yourself by doing the simple things that bring you pleasure. When Venus enters this part of your chart, love matters get heated, making this a sexy time for you and bae. You're always up for a bit of a challenge and whoever you're involved with over the next couple of months will be just what you need to stay on your toes. The month wraps up with a Full Moon helping you gain clarity on who is truly on #TeamSaggie.
CapricornLaci Jordan for xoNecole
The month begins with Mars shifting into Gemini on the 3rd, giving you a much-needed boost of energy to get back into shape. This is also a good time to schedule annual health screenings to determine if there are any improvements you need to make to your lifestyle. On the 13th, the New Moon is a great time to pick up a new hobby or learn about a topic of interest—particularly anything that flexes your creative muscles, making this the perfect time to learn how to play an instrument or write that book you've been thinking about.
On the 20th, the Sun shifts into Aries which could bring up some tensions within the family unit or related to your home security. Any challenges that arise during this time are best faced head-on. You've got the confidence and drive to overcome any obstacles you're facing. When Venus meets up with the Sun, you have the chance to smooth over any conflict that you've had with family members or roommates. Although tempers will run a little short, growing frustrations can help you pinpoint what needs to change within the dynamic to create more harmony. March wraps up with a Full Moon highlighting a well-earned achievement in career. Make sure to celebrate before you're on to pursuing your next goal!
AquariusLaci Jordan for xoNecole
Romance and creativity takes center stage this month when Mars transitions into Gemini on the 3rd. Your inner child wants to play so do the things you enjoy the most to nurture this aspect of yourself. Prioritize more pleasure in your day-to-day experiences to reap the benefits of the medicine of joy. On the 13th, the New Moon marks a fresh start for a financial endeavor, making this a good time to start a business or get a new job. Believe it or not, you won't have to work hard for these opportunities as long as you're energetically aligned with your desired outcome. It's time to get those manifestation abilities poppin!
Towards the end of the month, the Sun shifts into Aries, enlivening your communication. Your enthusiasm is lighting the fire within others. Just be mindful of being too pushy or offering unsolicited advice. Allow others to come to you if they're seeking your input or guidance. When Venus enters this part of your chart, public speaking and writing opportunities can be extended to you. You could be attracting someone who is just as bold and passionate as you are when it comes to romance. On the 28th, the Full Moon grants you the chance to share your expertise with others on a larger platform, whether you're publishing educational content or teaching an online workshop. The people want to hear what you have to say!
PiscesLaci Jordan for xoNecole
Are you ready for some Spring cleaning? Well, once Mars shifts into Gemini, you'll likely find yourself busy around your house getting rid of things you don't need. Family matters can also have you particularly busy over the next couple of months as well. On the 13th, the magical New Moon in your sign is the perfect time to get a makeover or "rebrand" yourself. Make sure to set some intentions for how you would like the year ahead to unfold. Be mindful of family tension that may be brewing around this time. You may ruffle some feathers in an attempt to establish more independence for yourself.
On the 20th, the Sun enters Aries to revitalize your finances. If money has been a little slow, things should start flowing more smoothly in the weeks to come. This is a good time to consider raising your rates or asking for a raise. Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself! When Venus enters this part of your chart, impulse spending is common. Put yourself on a budget to stay on track with your financial goals. Romantically, you could be attracting someone who is in a position of power and who also just so happens to be financially secure enough to spoil you. The month wraps up with a Full Moon freeing you up for a burdensome financial obligation! Try not to wind up right back in the hole that you just dug yourself out of.
Are you a member of our insiders squad? Join us in the xoTribe Members Community today!
Featured image by Laci Jordan for xoNecole
- Your March 2020 Horoscopes Are All About Resets & Renewal ›
- How To Survive Mercury Retrograde In March 2019 - xoNecole ... ›
- Your January 2021 Monthly Horoscopes - xoNecole: Women's ... ›
- May 2021 Horoscopes For Every Sign - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
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.”
Director of Content: Jasmine Grant
Campaign Manager: Chantal Gainous
Managing Editor: Sheriden Garrett
Creative Director/Executive Producer: Tracey Woods
Cover Designer: Tierra Taylor
Photographer: Ally Green
Photo Assistant: Avery Mulally
Digital Tech: Kim Tran
Video by Third and Sunset
DP & Editor: Sam Akinyele
2nd Camera: Skylar Smith
Camera Assistant: Charles Belcher
Stylist: Casey Billingsley
Hairstylist: DaVonte Blanton
Makeup Artist: Drini Marie
Production Assistants: Gade De Santana, Apu Gomes
Powered by: European Wax Center
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.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Feature image by Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images