Chlöe Bailey has commanded our attention with chart-topping singles like “Have Mercy” and curve confident photos on social media. However, it wasn’t always easy for the 23-year-old artist to love the skin she’s in.
“We’re not all supposed to be perfect, like bad b—h and confident all the time,” she told the publication. “We have different layers, ebbs, and flows to our lives. It would be completely unfair for me to portray myself to the world as I have no problems. Because I do.”
Growing up in the 2000s, Bailey recalls a time when body positive images of Black women were hard to come by, in contrast to the current social media era that boosts curvaceous, hourglass figures. That lack of representation caused Bailey to develop a complicated relationship with her body.
“I’ve always had thick thighs and a butt. But I was growing up at a time when, if someone on television told you that you had a big butt, they meant it as an insult,” she said. “So I was a little ashamed of my curves. I tried to hide them. It took a very, very long time. Now my favorite thing about [my body] is my butt.”
Now, the “Treat Me” singer credits the unapologetic confidence of her music mentor, Beyoncé, as inspiration to fully embrace her “full-figured” frame. “The first woman I saw embrace her body was Beyoncé,” she shared. “Hearing her sing ‘Bootylicious’ or seeing her perform on the BET [awards] made me feel calm about my body. Also Jill Scott. She showed me another beautiful, full-figured, thick, sexy, curvaceous [woman]. And I was like, that is sexy.”
Bailey’s highly-anticipated self-titled album, Chlöe, is teased in the interview as an invitation for fans to get to know the multi-hyphenate performer on a more vulnerable and personal level, allowing the stories within her music to do the all the talking. The journey she takes them on is similar to the journey to self-love that she shared with the magazine.
“In the beginning, you can tell that [the person] who is singing is like a bird with broken wings,” she said. “As time went on, you can hear me finding my strength and confidence. I didn’t want to lose that story as I pieced the [songs] together.”