Even though love is a universal concept, it is a unique experience for each individual. Successfully building and maintaining a healthy relationship requires you to learn your significant other's love language. You may be familiar with NY Times best selling author Gary Chapman and his work known as The 5 Love Languages—a how-to guide about the five ways that people express and experience love. These categories include words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.
Unfortunately, many people aren't familiar with their emotional needs or struggle with voicing them altogether. This results in dissatisfaction within relationships, often leading to resentment, if someone's love needs aren't being met.
Whether you're trying to win someone's heart, maintain a thriving relationship, or if you simply want to make a good impression on your boss, check out the tips below to help you gain (and keep) the key to their heart.
Aries & Their Love Language
Aries is considered the baby of the zodiac as this sign represents the birth of spring and the astrological new year. With that being said, it's important that you make the ram feel like they've got your undivided attention. They aren't necessarily needy as they do have a strong independent streak. It's not so much the amount of time that you spend with them but, more so, the quality of the experience. Aries loves to be on the go and this sign usually is a natural athlete. Take them out for a few rounds of paintball or go to your local arcade. Make sure to put up a good fight and don't let them win just because they like to. The ram enjoys dueling against a worthy opponent.
Even though they prefer to take the lead in a relationship, it's quite the turn-on if you do so from time to time. Your Aries man is likely to be super-machismo, so playing a role in his bondange and discipline fantasy will make an impression. As for your Aries woman, be open to role reversal. Allowing her to drive the boat lets her know that you trust her enough to get the job done.
Taurus & Their Love Language
A way to a Taurus' heart is through their stomach and their bank account. The calm, but stubborn bull, is ruled by Venus, the planet of love and money. Receiving gifts is their primary love language as this sign has an appreciation for the finer things in life. This doesn't mean that you have to go broke dating a Taurus. Even though they enjoy the material things that the world offers, this down-to-earth sign values consistency within their bonds, having a tendency to enjoy commitment due to them being a fixed sign.
Associated with the Earth element, Taurus is known for being one of the most sensual signs, making pleasure their top priority. Treat them to a fine dining experience or a weekend vacation at the wine vineyard. If your pockets are tight, don't worry! Taurus loves to be in the comfort of their home. Offer to cook for them or order takeout from their favorite restaurant. Set the mood by lighting some scented candles, running them a bath, then rubbing them down with warm oil before laying them down in their Egyptian cotton sheets. Keep in mind that this sign is big on receiving—with that being said Taurus men and women alike are big on getting some "face time".
Gemini & Their Love Language
Gemini is known to be one of the more free-spirited, flirtatious signs of the zodiac; their mutable energy makes them notorious serial daters. This can be a bit off-putting for people that prefer a bit more predictability but this playful sign can offer one of the most stimulating, adventurous relationships you've ever had. As a dual sign, associated with the twins, Gemini can portray multiple personalities, keeping their suitor on their toes.
Even though this sign may seem disinterested in commitment, they actually love companionship due to their duality. It's as though they're longing for their "other half", the one who gets them, throughout their entire lives. They need someone who can match their passionate curiosity about life but they also need someone to be their soft landing when they're burnt out from their explorations. Gemini is considered one of the most eccentric, brainy signs that will enjoy checking out an art museum or attending a poetry lounge where you can potentially pick up a cutie to join your midnight Ménage à trois.
Cancer & Their Love Language
The sensitive crab requires an emotionally nurturing relationship that makes them feel safe enough to venture outside of the protection of their shell. As loving as this sign is, they can be slow to open up and let others into their world. Once they do so, they run the risk of overly-extending themselves and being taken advantage of due to their kind, generous nature. Patience and quality time is required to build the trust of your Cancer but once they start feeling comfortable with you, you're in for one of the sweetest romances of all time. Naturally maternal, this sign prioritizes others over themselves to the point that they can neglect their own goals and needs.
You can show your Cancer some love by offering to do something for them as an act of service. Run an errand for them, cook dinner, or clean up around the house. They won't usually voice when they need help so it's important to be cognizant of how you may be taking too much from them. Cancer men are typically attracted to assertive women so dominating him in the bedroom is welcomed. As innocent as your Cancer woman may seem, you'd be surprised at how experimental she is.
Leo & Their Love Language
Pursuing the superstar of the zodiac isn't for the faint of heart or for the prideful. It's important that you make your Leo feel like they're basically the best thing that ever happened to you. This sign is notorious for its big ego but rightfully so, given the success that the Leo often experiences. You can always expect for this ambitious feline to be in hot pursuit of his or her dreams. Although they can do well in a power couple dynamic, this sign usually likes to be in the spotlight while their significant other takes a lesser, supportive, yet equally important role.
Words of affirmation is one of the preferred love languages of the sun child. Compliments can go a long way but try not to overdo it to avoid coming off as a kiss ass. Leo is typically an accomplished sign and their achievements should give you enough to brag about along with their impeccable sense of style. In the bedroom, your Leo man prefers to dominate his prey with choking, hair pulling, and slapping and the Leo woman is equally down for a bit of rough-housing as well.
Virgo & Their Love Language
When you're pursuing a Virgo, it's important that you display consistency and practicality in your approach. They're not apt to long, drawn out social media affairs and would much rather book a flight to spend some time with their crush. If you live in close enough vicinity to your Virgo, spending quality time with them goes a long way. This ambitious sign is usually focused on their money and their business, so when they do make time for you, take it as a sign that they're really into you. As one of the more structured zodiac signs, you can impress them by making the date night plans, buying their roundtrip plane ticket, or purchasing that vacuum on their Amazon wishlist.
Acts of service can also go a long way with this sign. Offer to spend the day helping them organize their office or make a trip to Wholefoods to restock their color-coordinated pantry. Although Virgo is known as the Virgin, both men and women of this sign are well-experienced behind closed doors. Virgo men typically like to dominate in the bedroom and your Virgo lady may be into recreating Maggie Gyllenhall's provocative performance in Secretary.
Libra & Their Love Language
This Venus-ruled zodiac sign is associated with the 7th house, making them naturally relationship-oriented. You'll rarely find a Libra who doesn't have someone on their roster. As one of the most flirtatious signs, words of affirmation can go a long way with them. Don't just focus on their looks though. Libra is well-known for being one of the intellects of the zodiac, so complimenting their brilliant mind will win you some brownie points as well.
This sign is known for compromising due to their diplomatic approach to life. However, they can easily forget their own needs within love, often resulting in imbalances in their relationships. When you're pursuing a Libra, it's important to teach them the value of validating their wants and needs in the relationship. You can do so through acts of service and by giving them gifts. As a giver, the Libra man is a cunnilingus aficionado; while the Libra woman will be down to sixty-nine.
Scorpio & Their Love Language
As one of the most private signs of the zodiac, Scorpio can take a while to open up to someone pursuing them. They are deeply emotional but are typically good at masking their sensitivity. Patience is needed as they won't grant you access to their heart any sooner than they're ready to. Once they let you in, you'll be in for one of the most transformative, intimate romances of a lifetime.
Physical touch is one of Scorpio's favorite love languages. This sign enjoys the pleasure of foreplay and experiences that slowly build up to the big release. Take them out to a Tantra class, then try out what you've learned at the end of the night. As one of the most alluring signs of the zodiac, don't be surprised if you find yourself under your Scorpio's spell after the first rodeo. Their intuitive nature gives them the advantage of knowing exactly what your body needs. They are notorious for being one of the freakiest signs of the zodiac—both men and women likely having an interest in BDSM, anal, and a whole lot of latex.
Sagittarius & Their Love Language
This free-spirited zodiac sign can be a little hard to pin down, especially if you value stability and structure. As a mutable sign, Sagittarius prefers to explore the world, and their options—unless, of course, they can meet someone that is up to speed with them. Their fiery nature makes them passionate romantics that thrive off of adventure. You'll likely find them traveling around the world with their partner or enjoying various rendezvous with the foreigners they meet along their journey. The lively optimism of your Saggie will light up your world.
However, it's important that you're capable of offering this same positivity to them in their time of need through encouraging words of affirmation. As one of the dreamers of the zodiac, there always comes a time in which reality bursts their bubble, so it's necessary for them to have a safe space to lick their wounds before they're strong enough to get out into the world again. Spontaneity is a priority for this restless sign who likely enjoys sex in the car, outdoors, in the fitting room at the mall—basically anywhere they can do it without getting arrested. And even then, they may take the risk just so they can have an epic story to tell later.
Capricorn & Their Love Language
The boss of the zodiac typically likes to take the lead in love, if they even have the time for it, as they're usually more consumed with their plans of taking over the world. However, they could definitely use a sidekick to join them in their takeover. Capricorn has some lofty goals in mind and may need some help breaking down the process in concrete steps. That's where you come in. Acts of service go a long way with this ambitious zodiac sign. Offer to help them complete the minute tasks on their to-do list so they have time to focus on the more important stuff.
As an earth sign, Cappies value their business and financial security. Making an investment in their startup or putting some money towards their school tuition can put you in good standing with them. When it comes to their sexual needs, the Capricorn woman enjoys dominating her partner, settling for nothing less than their reverence. On the other hand, the traditional Capricorn male enjoys a more submissive lover.
Aquarius & Their Love Language
This free-spirited, intellectual sign craves a stimulating partnership both mentally and physically. As an air sign, Aquarius isn't typically into the emotional displays of affection. Instead, they value what they can learn from their significant other. Spending quality time with them, exploring their thoughts and sharing your own personal experiences is something this sign thrives off of. Aquarius is associated with the 11th house, which has to do with society and humanitarianism.
Participating in acts of service that allow you to give back to the community can make a good impression on them. They also enjoy learning about different spiritual topics so take them out to a law of attraction seminar, meditation circle, or reiki center to show that you support their learning process. When it comes to their sexuality, Aquarius men appreciate receiving some creative nudes or a homemade flick of you partaking in some self-pleasure. As for the Aquarius woman, she particularly prefers more casual, no-strings attached affairs, but within a commitment she'll be open to inviting another woman into the bedroom.
Pisces & Their Love Language
This sensitive water sign is a hopeless romantic just waiting to pour their love into anyone who's willing to receive it. However, their empathy often lands them in some pretty rough relationships where they end up carrying all of the weight in an attempt to heal or save someone. Pisces' association with the 12th house makes them a magnet for some of the most lower vibrational individuals dealing with issues of addiction, trauma, and mental illness. Over time, these types of relationships can start to wear down on this empathic sign—emotionally, spiritually, and even physically.
If you're interested in pursuing a Pisces, be willing to carry your own emotional weight. They are often considered the "strong friend" so make sure to check in and spend quality time with them. Small gestures like holding their hand or giving them a hug can go a long way. When it comes to the bedroom, Pisces women enjoy extended foreplay and slow, deep sexual experiences that end in pillow talk. The laidback Pisces man in your life enjoys being dominated by his lover and he may even have a secret foot fetish as well so make sure to keep your toes well-manicured.
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Originally published March 28, 2019
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Amber Riley Is In Her Element
Amber Riley has the type of laugh that sticks with you long after the raspy, rhythmic sounds have ceased. It punctuates her sentences sometimes, whether she’s giving a chuckle to denote the serious nature of something she just said or throwing her head back in rip-roarious laughter after a joke. She laughs as if she understands the fragility of each minute. She chooses laughter often with the understanding that future joy is not guaranteed.
Credit: Ally Green
The sound of her laughter is rivaled only by her singing voice, an emblem of the past and the future resilience of Black women stretched over a few octaves. On Fox’s Glee, her character Mercedes Jones was portrayed, perhaps unfairly, as the vocal duel to Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), offering rough, full-throated belts behind her co-star’s smooth, pristine vocals. Riley’s always been more than the singer who could deliver a finishing note, though.
Portraying Effie White, she displayed the dynamic emotions of a song such as “And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going” in Dreamgirls on London’s West End without buckling under the historic weight of her predecessors. With her instrument, John Mayer’s “Gravity” became a religious experience, a belted hymnal full of growls and churchy riffs. In her voice, Nicole Scherzinger once said she heard “the power of God.”
Credit: Ally Green
Riley’s voice has been a staple throughout pop culture for nearly 15 years now. Her tone has become so distinguishable that most viewers of Fox’s The Masked Singer recognized the multihyphenate even before it was revealed that she was Harp, the competition-winning, gold-masked figure with an actual harp strapped to her back.
Still, it wasn’t until recently that Riley began to feel like she’d found her voice. This sounds unbelievable. But she’s not referring to the one she uses on stage. She’s referencing the voice that speaks to who she is at her core. “Therapy kind of gave me the training to speak my mind,” the 37-year-old says. “It’s not something we’re taught, especially as Black women. I got so comfortable in [doing so], and I really want other people, especially Black women, to get more comfortable in that space.”
“Therapy kind of gave me the training to speak my mind. It’s not something we’re taught, especially as Black women."
If you ask Riley’s manager, Myisha Brooks, she’ll tell you the foundation of who the multihyphenate is hasn’t changed much since she was a kid growing up in Compton. “She is who she is from when I met her back when she was singing in the front of the church to back when she landed major roles in film and TV,” Brooks says. Time has allowed Riley to grow more comfortable, giving fans a more intimate glimpse into her life, including her mental health journey and the ins and outs of show business.
The actress/singer has been in therapy since 2019, although she suffered from depression and anxiety way before that. In a recent interview with Jason Lee, she recalls having suicidal ideation as a kid. By the time she started seeing a psychologist and taking antidepressants in her thirties, her body had become jittery, a physical reminder of the trauma stacked high inside her. “I was shaking in [my therapist’s] office,” she tells xoNecole. “My fight or flight was on such a high level. I was constantly in survival mode. My heart was beating fast all the time. All I did was sweat.”
There wasn’t just childhood trauma to account for. After auditioning for American Idol and being turned away by producers, Riley began working for Ikea and nearly missed her Glee audition because her car broke down on the highway while en route. Thankfully, Riley had been cast to play Mercedes Jones. American Idol had temporarily convinced her she wasn’t cut out for the entertainment industry, but this was validation that she was right where she belonged. Glee launched in 2009 with the promise of becoming Riley’s big break.
In some ways, it was. The show introduced Riley to millions of fans and catapulted her into major Hollywood circles. But in other ways, it became a reminder of the types of roles Black women, especially those who are plus-sized, are relegated to. Behind the scenes, Riley says she fought for her character "to have a voice" but eventually realized her efforts were useless. "It finally got to a point where I was like, this is not my moment. I'm not who they're choosing, and this is just going to have to be a job for me for now," she says. "And, that's okay because it pays my bills, I still get to be on television, I'm doing more than any other Black plus-sized women that I'm seeing right now on screen."
The actress can recognize now that she was navigating issues associated with trauma and low self-esteem at the time. She now knows that she's long had anxiety and depression and can recognize the ways in which she was triggered by how the cult-like following of the show conflicted with her individual, isolated experiences behind the scenes. But she was in her early '20s back then. She didn't yet have the language or the tools to process how she was feeling.
Riley says she eventually sought out medical intervention. "When you're in Hollywood, and you go to a doctor, they give you pills," she says, sharing a part of her story that she'd never revealed publicly before now. "[I was] on medication and developing a habit of medicating to numb, not understanding I was developing an addiction to something that's not fixing my problem. If anything, it's making it worse."
“[I was] on medication and developing a habit of medicating to numb, not understanding I was developing an addiction to something that’s not fixing my problem. If anything it’s making it worse.”
Credit: Ally Green
At one point, while in her dressing room on set, she rested her arm on a curling iron without realizing it. It wasn't until her makeup artist alerted her that she even realized her skin was burning. Once she noticed, she says she was "so zonked out on pills" that she barely reacted. Speaking today, she holds up her arm and motions towards a scar that remains from the incident. She sought help for her reliance on the pills, but it would still be years before she finally attended therapy.
This stress was only compounded by the trauma of growing up in poverty and the realities of being a "contract worker." "Imagine going from literally one week having to borrow a car to get to set to the next week being on a private jet to New York City," she says. After Glee ended, so did the rides on private planes. The fury of opportunities she expected to follow her appearance on the show failed to materialize. She wasn't even 30 yet, and she was already forced to consider if she'd hit her career peak.
. . .
We’re only four minutes into our Zoom call before Riley delivers her new adage to me. “My new mantra is ‘humility does not serve me.’ Humility does not serve Black women. The world works so hard to humble us anyway,” she says.
On this Thursday afternoon in April, the LA-based entertainer is seated inside her closet/dressing room wearing a cerulean blue tank top with matching shorts and eating hot wings. This current phase of healing hinges on balance. It’s about having discipline and consistency, but not at the risk of inflexibility. She was planning to head to the gym, for instance, but she’s still tired from the “exhausting” day before. Instead, she’s spent her day receiving a massage, eating some chicken wings, and planning to spend quality time with friends. “I’m not going to beat myself up for it. I’m not going to talk down to myself. I’m going to eat my chicken wings, and then tomorrow I’m [back] in the gym,” she says.
“My new mantra is ‘humility does not serve me.’ Humility does not serve Black women. The world works so hard to humble us anyway."
This is the balance with which she's been approaching much of her life these days. It's why she's worried less about whether or not people see her as someone who is humble. She'd rather be respected. "I think you should be a person that's easy to work with, but in the moments where I have to ruffle feathers and make waves, I'm not shying away from that anymore. You can do it in love, you don't have to be nasty about it, but I had to finally be comfortable with the fact that setting boundaries around my life – in whatever aspect, whether that's personal or business – people are not going to like it. Some people are not going to have nice things to say about you, and you gotta be okay with it," she says.
When Amber talks about the constant humbling of Black women in Hollywood, I think of the entertainers before her who have suffered from this. The brilliant, consistent, overqualified Black women who have spoken of having to fight for opportunities and fair pay. Aretha Franklin. Viola Davis. Tracee Ellis Ross. There's a long list of stars whose success hasn't mirrored their experiences behind the scenes.
Credit: Ally Green
If Black women outside of Hollywood are struggling to decrease the pay gap, so, too, are their wealthier, more famous peers.
Riley says there’s been progress in recent years, but only in small ways and for a limited group of people. “This business is exhausting. The goalpost is constantly moving, and sometimes it’s unfair,” she says. But, I have to say it’s the love that keeps you going.”
“There’s no way you can continue to be in this business and not love it, especially being a plus-sized Black woman,” she continues. “We’re still niche. We’re still not main characters.”
"There’s no way you can continue to be in this business and not love it, especially being a plus-sized Black woman. We’re still niche. We’re still not main characters.”
Last year, Riley starred alongside Raven Goodwin in the Lifetime thriller Single Black Female (a modern, diversified take on 1992’s Single White Female). It was more than a leading role for the actress, it also served as proof that someone who looks like her can front a successful project without it hinging on her identity. It showcased that the characters she portrays don’t “have to be about being a big girl. It can just be a regular story.”
Riley sees her work in music as an extension of her efforts to push past the rigid stereotypes in entertainment. Take her appearance on The Masked Singer, for instance. Riley said she decided to perform Mayer’s “Gravity” after being told she couldn’t sing it years earlier. “I wanted to do ‘Gravity’ on Glee. [I] was told no, because that’s not a song that Mercedes would do,” she says. “That was a full circle moment for me, doing that on that show and to hear what it is they had to say.”
As Scherzinger praised the “anointed” performance, a masked Riley began to cry, her chest heaving as she stood on stage, her eyes shielded from view. “You have to understand, I have really big names – casting directors, producers, show creators – that constantly tell me ‘I’m such a big fan. Your talent is unmatched.’ Hire me, then,” she says, reflecting on the moment.
Recently, she’s been in the studio working on original music, the follow-up to her independently-released debut EP, 2020’s Riley. The sequel to songs such as the anthemic “Big Girl Energy” and the reflective ballad “A Moment” on Riley, this new project hones in on the singer’s R&B roots with sensual grooves such as the tentatively titled “All Night.” “You said I wasn’t shit, turns out that I’m the shit. Then you called me a bitch, turns out that I’m that bitch. You said no one would want me, well you should call your homies,” she sings on the tentatively titled “Lately,” a cut about reflecting on a past relationship. From the forthcoming project, xoNecole received five potential tracks. Fans likely already know the strengths and contours of Riley’s vocals, but these new songs are her strongest, most confident offerings as an artist.
“I am so much more comfortable as a writer, and I know who I am as an artist now. I’m evolving as a human being, in general, so I’m way more vulnerable in my music. I’m way more willing to talk about whatever is on my mind. I don’t stop myself from saying what it is I want to say,” she says.
Credit: Ally Green
“Every era and alliteration of Amber, the baseline is ‘Big Girl Energy.’ That’s the name of her company,” her manager Brooks says, referencing the imprint through which Riley releases her music after getting out of a label deal several years ago. “It’s just what she stands for. She’s not just talking about size, it’s in all things. Whether it’s putting your big girl pants on and having to face a boardroom full of executives or sell yourself in front of a casting agent. It’s her trying to achieve the things she wants to do in life.”
Riley says she has big dreams beyond releasing this new music, too. She’d love to star in a rom-com with Winston Duke. She hasn't starred in a biopic yet, but she’d revel in the opportunity to portray Rosetta Tharpe on screen. She’s determined that her previous setbacks won’t stop her from dreaming big.
“I think one of my superpowers is resilience because, at the end of the day, I’m going to kick, scream, cry, cuss, be mad and disappointed, but I’m going to get up and risk having to deal with it all again. It’s worth it for the happy moments,” she says.
If Riley seems more comfortable and confident professionally, it’s because of the work she’s been doing in her personal life.
She’d previously spoken to xoNecole about becoming engaged to a man she discovered in a post on the site, but she called things off last year. For Valentine’s Day, she revealed her new boyfriend publicly. “I decided to post him on Valentine’s Day, partially because I was in the dog house. I got in trouble with him,” she says, half-joking before turning serious. “The breakup was never going to stop me from finding love. Or at least trying. I don’t owe anybody a happily ever after. People break up. It happens. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was terrible, hunny. I had to get the fuck up out of there. You find happiness, and you enjoy it and work through it.”
Credit: Ally Green
"I don’t owe anybody a happily ever after. People break up. It happens. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was terrible, hunny. I had to get the fuck up out of there. You find happiness and you enjoy it and work through it.”
With her ex, Riley was pretty outspoken about her relationship, even appearing in content for Netflix with him. This time around is different. She’s not hiding her boyfriend of eight months, but she’s more protective of him, especially because he’s a father and isn’t interested in becoming a public figure.
She’s traveling more, too. It’s a deliberate effort on her part to enjoy her money and reject the trauma she’s developed after experiencing poverty in her childhood. “I live in constant fear of being broke. I don’t think you ever don’t remember that trauma or move past that. Now I travel and I’m like, listen, if it goes, it goes. I’m not saying [to] be reckless, but I deserve to enjoy my hard work.”
After everything she’s been through, she certainly deserves to finally let loose a bit. “I have to have a life to live,” she says. “I’ve got to have a life worth fighting for.”
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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.
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Feature image by Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images