During an appearance on the season two finale of Facebook Watch’s “Peace of Mind with Taraji” on Monday, singer Chloe Bailey opened up about her struggles with body positivity and how she handles negative comments.
Bailey is also known as one-half of the music duo Chloe x Halle, which she formed with her sister, Halle. This year, Chloe Bailey made her solo debut with the single “Have Mercy.”
Following the release of the song’s music video and her performance at MTV’s 2021 Video Music Awards, some social media users criticized Bailey for her more mature image.
Taraji P. Henson and her “Peace of Mind” co-host Tracie Jade asked Bailey, 23, about the harsh comments she has received recently. While they spoke, examples popped up that said, “I want the old Chloe back lol” and another post compared her to an adult film star.
Bailey pointed out that the messages were in response to her sharing sensual photos that showed off her curvy figure.
She revealed being curvy as a little girl was at times her “biggest insecurity.”
“I remember the first time I got stretch marks. I was 12 at this field trip and we were hiking,” she recalled. “I’m like, ‘What is this?’ I still have them all on my thighs.”
She gestured toward her legs and said, “But as I’ve gotten older, I have learned to really appreciate my curves. I love my stretch marks.”
The “Grownish” star now asks for editors to not airbrush her stretch marks during photo shoots.
Later in the sit-down, Henson wondered if there was a specific comment that really hurt Bailey.
“I think there was a collective of them and I can’t sit here and lie and say, ‘Oh, I’m bulletproof, nothing hurt me,’ because it honestly did,” she said. “And I think what hurt me the most was when I would see some post saying how I’m doing this for male attention, or I’m just trying to sell sex to get attention for myself.”
She explained how the messages initially made her sad. But, then she questioned, “why would I let that control my thoughts and feelings when I know it’s a lie.”
Bailey decided to not give the negativity any power.
“I’m not doing anything crazy. I’m just appreciating and loving myself and my body. And I didn’t think there was any problem with that,” she shared.
Although she feels confident posting pictures of her body on social media now, the musician revealed she still struggles with self-doubt and feeling “less than.”
The criticism made her think, “‘What is wrong with me?’ ‘Cause this is completely me. I’m being authentic.”
She explained that her religion helped her overcome the cruel opinions.
“I’m very spiritual and I just pray and close my eyes and I’m like...I’m pretty proud of myself,” she said. “So I didn’t really mind after that. But I kind of have to do soul searching every now and then.”
This isn’t the first time Bailey has had to defend her adult image. Earlier this year, she received backlash when she participated in the viral “Buss It Challenge” on TikTok.
After some critics said her dancing was inappropriate, she went live on Instagram and tearfully addressed the judgmental critiques.
“It’s really hard for me to think of myself as a sexual being or an attractive being quite frankly,” she said at the time, according to Billboard. “I really don’t understand because I’ve never seen myself in that way or in that light. So I take it as a huge compliment that you even think of me as a sexual, sexy being.”