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This Is Why Teyana Taylor Deleted Her Instagram Before Releasing Her Album

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If you haven't heard it today, I'll be the first person to say it: the female species is f*cking phenomenal. As women of color, we are tasked with wearing so many masks that we sometimes forget who we genuinely are. Our roles are multifaceted and are not to be taken lightly. We create humans, pursue ambitious careers, support the ones we love, and still find time and energy at the end of the day to be exemplary lovers.

Now that we've finally garnered the opportunity to utilize our power, we put the world on notice that the future is female, and so is the present. One of the women that are helping to create that culture is Teyana Taylor, the badass mommy mogul who is out to revolutionize R&B (while also raising a toddler, running a business, and being a wife to a basketball superstar).

Upon releasing her new album, the 27-year-old entertainer opened up to Coveteur about how she balances her multifaceted personal and professional lives. Teyana has consistently pursued a career as a performing artist but has her hand in a number of different industries. Her Harlem-based salon, Junie Bee Nails, is one of the many businesses of which Teyana has a lead role, including her fitness program Fade2Fit.

It leads me to wonder if women like Beyonce and Teyana have the same 24 hours in a day as the rest of us, but Teyana confirmed it. They do. And Teyana says that the key to mastering your 24 hours is surrounding yourself with nothing but positive energy. No matter how many different hustles she pursues, she makes sure that positivity is consistent because that way, even if you hit a bump in the road, you can recognize that the obstacle wasn't the most important part of the journey. She said:

"If you've got positive energy, you can always feel good. My plane was late [today], but I got here, I got my makeup on, and I feel good because of positive energy. Positive thinking, too. I miss my kid, and I know I get to see her tonight, so that's got me super excited and feeling good."

Part of discerning vibes is limiting your accessibility to the world. Teyana said that to create a life worth falling in love with, she had to first eliminate her social media presence. Her upcoming album release required her full focus and concentration, leading her to temporarily delete her Instagram. Since then, she's returned to the 'Gram to slay us with promo for her new album, but said that she needed to temporarily rid herself of all distractions to ensure the album's perfection.

"I deleted my Instagram because [my label was] pretty much telling me to fall back on posting snippets [of my album]. I was like, Look, the only way that's going to happen is if I delete my account. I understand that it's only seven songs, so if I keep posting then the album will be out before it's out. Most importantly though, I wanted to really lock in. Instagram can be a distraction. After seeing all the positive feedback and all the love [the album] was getting, it kind of made me more nervous, because now this shit really gotta be lit. It is lit, but there are people who put you on a pedestal, and I have to live up to that. It was really time to get focused—I really want to take this time to make sure this album is perfect. I owe it to them, you know what I'm saying? It was more about taking that break, focusing on what's important, and coming back when it's time for this album to drop. We're two weeks away—it's time to lock in."

The comment section can be addictive, and Teyana said she no longer wanted to give in to the craving. When people give their opinion on you, it is usually a reflection of how they feel about themselves in that moment. Our social media accounts give us the opportunity to be publishers and philosophers in our own right, and Teyana knew that it was time to focus on developing her own perception of herself. She told Coveteur:

"It's just like, Calm your ass down, Teyana. Damn. I still have to be a mom, I still have to be a wife. I can't be caught up in reading comments."

As a wife, mother, business owner, and worldwide entertainment superstar, Teyana Taylor is proof that women are actually superhuman, and that with some positive vibes and a little bit of flavor, we have all of the power in the world. That is, as long as we can stay out of the comment section.

To read the full article, click here.

Featured image by Michael A Walker Jr / Shutterstock.com

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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