Chloe Bailey Is Doing More Than "Tearing Up"
"It's a pivotal time for me."
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On January 31, Chloe Bailey, sister of Halle Bailey and member of the duo Chloe X Halle, went on Instagram Live to address negative reactions to a video, and I want to make ensure all my subscribers are paying attention to what she is saying. I almost view moments like this as mini-milestones in a bigger conversation. And right now, I’m observing a few Black women in the spotlight subtly send signals — about dating, sexuality, beauty — that I know will shift minds and conversations.
In our world, where visuals rule everything, I do think Chloe’s words deserve more attention than a passive glance online of her crying. When you watch the video, you see tears, and I think it’s easy to take that visual note as a sign of weakness. Really, I think she is trying to communicate her balance of strength and vulnerability. Not for nothing, I wrote a cover story on Chloe x Halle for Teen Vogue and I include some of these sentiments ("We have to take our power back as women and not allow ourselves to be played.”)
The reaction to Chloe’s IG Live was to support and defend the 22-year-old at all costs. Surely, I imagine part of that work includes listening to her. Chloe does a good job of speaking for herself, so I’ll let her take it from her.
This transcription was lightly edited for clarity.
Hello, hello, hello, everybody, How are you doing? Hey, guys.
It’s Sunday? It's the Lord's day.
I just wanted to log on and talk with you guys, so you all can get to know a bit of me more.
I tried to take some pictures today, so that's why I have my makeup done, because usually I don't walk around the house with my makeup done, and my edges done. But I was like, “Why would I waste this little face beat?” [laughs]
Usually, I'm in sweats and I look hot ass mess, but hi. I just wanted to get on so we could hang together and you guys can get to know me, the real me, a bit more.
Actually, if you guys have any questions or anything you want to talk about, let me know. Nothing's off-limits.
“Hello, Chloe, I'm having a really bad day. What advice do you have to make me get over my problems?”
I'm so, so sorry. Number one, I love you. I would have to say what helps me is prayer.
And just hanging out my little brother, my God, [and] mom. That's what helps me feel better.
And, you know, since we're on the topic. I mean, we're all here.
I know when we started our Instagrams, it was something new and different for you guys. And you kind of get to seeing the different sides of Sister and I.
You see how we are the same, and you see how we're different. And I think that's the beautiful thing about it, because our synergy is really out of this world. You have two completely different individuals, and you come together. So a lot of times you see what Halle and I are together. So now you kind of get a bit of insight into who I am as a person.
And there's been a lot of talk about my Instagram and my dance videos.
And the funny thing is, the dancing one I did with the blue light... I did that 6 months ago. I just shot it in my room because I really, really love to dance.
I feel so confident when I get to tap into the sexy side of me because all the people who know me personally… I'm really such a nerd. I'm really to myself and I'm really, really shy. So it's honestly taken a lot for me to show the world who I really am inside.
So that was taken 6 months ago. The one that was posted yesterday, I shot that almost a year and 7 months ago when I was in North Carolina for a movie.
So the thing is, you guys get to kind of see who I really am as a person.
I'm such a nerd and I'm not worldly at all. But when I perform, and when I make music, and when I dance, that's when I get to tap into the sexier side of myself. And that's where I find my confidence.
I'm not going to cry this time, because you all know I be crying.
So it really means a lot to me when I can finally get to a place where I share who I really am. And I've been really insecure for a long time.
And I'm finally at that place where I have self-confidence. I'm not going to cry.
And I'm really happy that I get to share that with you all, and I think it's so important and so special when a Black woman can be strong and stand in her power in every single way. You know, I do it musically with my songwriting, with my producing. I feel so badass. And I get the same feeling when I dance in my room, when I just own who I am and my body. And for so long, I used to think I was fat. I used to hate my stretch marks and my cellulite.
I'm not going to cry.
Now, I really love who I am and I don't post what I post for validation from anybody or even male attention. It's just me. And a lot of people on my private Instagram, they see that's how I find my confidence because it has taken me a lot to appreciate myself and my body.
There's been so many times where I felt I wasn't pretty enough. I have a lot of issues with my weight. So it's really… it's a pivotal time for me. I'm just now learning at 22, almost 23, that it's OK to be all that you are and to stand in that power.
And I'm not going to change who I am. If I did, I would be a catfish and you all wouldn't see the real me that my family sees, and that Halle knows.
It's not a shock to her because I'm like this all the time. I'm such a nerd inside, but on the outside. Even when I dance, I just feel really sexy and confident. That's where I get my confidence from. Ever since I was a little girl, since I was four, I'd be shaking my butt in front of the TV watching my idol Beyoncé. It's just always been a part of me. And I think you all are just now seeing it.
And I think for every woman out there, don't change who you are to make society feel comfortable. And I'm telling myself that's not what I'm going to do.
Even when I posted the video yesterday, I was posting because I was saging and doing Palo Santo, I’m like, “Let’s spread very positive vibes.”
I don't even really notice you all would talk about my ass because I'm like, “OK, I'm just walking in for one second, two seconds.” You know? I've shown my ass more than that. If you look at our performance videos, the last performance we had in December, I was so excited on stage and just being myself.
So I don't know, I just felt it was important to address it. So you guys get to know who I am on the inside.
It's really hard for me to think of myself as a sexual being or an attractive being, quite frankly. So when I see all the uproar about my posts and stuff, I'm a bit confused. 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 all even think of me as a sexual, sexy being.
I don't post what I post to get attention. I don't need that. I am a very spiritual person and during quarantine I got really close to God.
So even in the lowest moments, I felt like people weren't seeing me. When people weren't paying attention to me, God was.
I just hope you can see who I am and that's it. Someone said, why am I crying? I'm always such a [crier]. You all know it's not that serious.
But yeah, I had to speak on it. And for everyone who doesn't feel like they're beautiful enough or doesn’t feel like they're the type of beauty standard. It's OK. You are beautiful because I felt that way. I still feel that way. I'm very insecure, quite frankly. But my outlet is music. So when I perform, I do music, you all think I’m the baddest bitch, but no. So I just want to thank you all for so much support and all of your love.
And I'm excited for you all to kind of see more of who I am and get to know me. And I'm not going to change myself because that wouldn’t be fair to me.
And I'm happy that I am loving my body now because it's taken me a long time. It's taken me a very long time. I'm happy you all the nice things about it, but every time I look in the mirror, sometimes that's not what I think.
I just wanted to address that because I saw [the question], “How do you get out of a funk and how do you get to feel more positive?” And that's about it.
So, everybody: it doesn't matter what people tell you. Whatever you’re going through? Say, fuck that. Be yourself completely. I'm going to be myself completely. I hope you all love and accept me for that.
I'm such a crier, it's the Cancer in me. I'm such a big baby. [In] music and business, I’m hardcore.
I think later this evening I'm going to pull out my Legos and do them because that's how I feel better. Legos, Paternity Court, and what else? Food.
I was going to put a filter on my face, but I'm like, “Naw, I'm just going to let yall see me, me as me.”
[Goes into answering questions]