While growing up, Kelly Rowland said seeing women who looked like her motivated her to believe in the beauty of her dreams. The singer told ESSENCE that it was certain women, in fact, who helped her dream even bigger.
“Whitney Houston, I remember seeing Vanessa Bell Armstrong, the gospel singer [and] Janet Jackson,” she added. “Women who I thought I looked like color wise. To me, that was really important. It was necessary for me to see that.”
The former Destiny’s Child singer’s sentiments echoed comments she gave at SXSW on Saturday when she said, “I feel it’s so necessary for my niece, my unborn kid, she has to see more chocolate women. I want to be part of that change. It’s time for another generation to see female camaraderie and people coming together.”
During an event, sponsored by Claritin in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America hoping to get kids outside and active during the Spring and Summer seasons, Rowland says an encounter with a young fan reaffirmed her belief that more young girls need role models of a darker shade.
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“A little girl touched my skin and I was a little mad because I had on makeup,” she said jokingly. “I wanted her to know I don’t have to cover it up. That’s important to me and I don’t feel like we have enough chocolate girls who represent us. You just have one cute little chocolate girl from Fifth Harmony—is that all we got get in mainstream? So I’m really frustrated, hence the reason why I wanted to put together a girl group.”
Rowland, who is the the host of the TV Talent show called Chasing Destiny on BET, said her hope is to include a dark-skinned singer in the forefront to inspire young women to believe in the beauty of their skin tone.
“I am pro-chocolate!,” she noted. “We are very focused on that because we feel like there is a shortage.”