If anyone can usher in the next award-winning girl group, it’s Destiny’s Child’s founding member, Kelly Rowland. With record-breaking success alongside Beyoncé and Michelle and garnering 27 million records sold worldwide as a solo artist, Rowland, 35, knows a thing or two about creating the next award-winning girl squad.
On her new BET docu-series, Chasing Destiny, Rowland invited cameras along on her multi-city search to find the next generation of stars as young black women everywhere from Houston to LA flex their vocal power to impress the “This Is Love” songstress. These girls––some with former group experience and others with raw, untapped talent––endure demanding, rigorous schedules to learn songs and Frank Gatson-approved choreo, all for the love of their dream.
As Rowland now grooms her final black girl quintet into a red carpet-ready squad, one thing’s clear: representation teaches all of us. For all the young Black women witnessing the Black Girl Magic of Rowland’s new show, here are some of the lessons we can learn from tuning in each week.
1. Dark-skinned women are beautiful.
While showcasing women of all shades throughout the series, Rowland purposefully champions darker-skinned girls and unapologetically brings them front and center to ensure they're considered beautiful. At one point in the season, the chanteuse, a dark-skinned beauty herself, swells with excitement about cocoa-colored girls. “Chocolate skin makes me insane,” she says. “I want my chocolate!”
2. Hone your uniqueness.
Outside of skin tone, this show celebrates a mixed bag of personalities, vocals textures and interests. In each hour-long episode no one is shaded for being different but instead praised for being unique. Rowland encourages each girl to develop what sets them apart from one another, even in the final group, i.e., Gabby’s awkward edginess and Kristal’s mama bear southern charm. Though there’s beauty in bonding over commonalities, uniqueness will make you memorable.
3. Negative energy stifles success.
It’s true: What you think is what you become. As negative energy drained one girl’s talent and drive, positive thinking as shown by Skye powered others to grow as individuals and singers. When striving toward a goal, it’s important to stay uplifted in order to manifest great things in your life. After watching how most of these girls stayed mindful, gracious and grateful throughout this once in a lifetime journey, you'll want to double up on your doses of positive thinking.
4. Practice really makes perfect.
You can’t just love what you do; you’ve gotta be obsessed with it. The Chasing Destiny girls spend countless hours bouncing from Lonny Bereal's recording studio to dance practice to glammed up photo shoots. It's a prime example that making your dreams come true not only requires will, but it also takes an insane amount of dedication and hard work. When you get to a place where you eat, breathe and sleep your passion, you’ll see the results you seek.
5. Always look your best.
As Ashly, a member of the final group, said: Someone is always watching. Though you may not have to be dolled up on the regular to represent a singing group, whatever your profession, it's best to consistently look top-notch. Own your identity. Wanna be a CEO? Dress like you'll have a board meeting any minute. A hairstylist? Keep your hair on fleek even during a Starbucks run. Bottom line: Slay at all times, so you never miss an opportunity.
6. Know your weaknesses.
What's better than knowing your strengths is knowing what aspects of your skill set need fine tuning. As much as Chasing Destiny highlights outstandingly talented women, it also shows how young women who lag behind, whether in dancing or vocal performance, improve their flaws. No one is perfect, so understanding your challenges and how to overcome them is key to success in anything you do.
7. Physical fitness equals mental toughness.
While whipping them into shape vocally, Rowland rounded up the girls for "the toughest workout ever." Besides the physical benefits of exercise, staying fit directly correlates to your mental strength. Can you push through a tough situation? How long can you endure when every bone in your body is aching to give up? Setting the tone in your workouts will ultimately help you push the limit in your everyday life.
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