Chloe Bailey is unapologetic.
During the season finale of Taraji P. Henson's Peace of Mind, the 23-year-old singer opened up about the criticism she has received on social media during her blossoming solo career. She admitted to Henson that, after having gone live on Instagram to address controversy about sharing her sexier side earlier this year, she was "just tired, cause even now, like, I still am very insecure."
"We all have our things … And especially in the world of social media and a world of only seeing the best version of everyone else, you're like, 'well, I got to fix this, this, and this and this and this.' So I just was explaining like, I'm not changing. It hurts my feelings. Don't like it, but I'm not changing for anyone,” Bailey explained.
She went on to admit that she was especially hurt considering how she's struggled with body image since she was a preteen.
“I've always kind of been curvy to the point where sometimes it was like my biggest insecurity," she said. "And I remember the first time I got stretch marks, I was 12 at this field trip and we were hiking. I'm like, 'what is this? I still have them all on my thighs.' But as I've gotten older, I have learned to really appreciate my curves. I love my stretch marks. Anytime I have a photo shoot, I'm like, 'no don't airbrush the stretch marks 'cause I like them.'”
Bailey said she's heard it all when it come to criticism, over things from participating in risqué TikTok challenges to posting suggestive photos — but that what felt the worst was being accused of seeking the validation of men. But at the end of the day, she made the decision to not let what people said have so much 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 added. "There are moments where it made me feel less-than. I was like, well, 'what is wrong with me?' 'Cause this is, this is completely me. I'm being authentic. But then, you know, I love God. I'm very spiritual and I just pray and close my eyes and I'm like …'I'm pretty proud of myself.' So I didn't really mind after that, but it's like, I kind of have to do soul searching every now and then."
The "Have Mercy" singer has had a whirlwind of a year with her first solo hit, performing at the MTV Video Music Awards, the American Music Awards and more. But no matter what she has accomplished and will continue to accomplish in her career, she rejects the notion that she asked for the online bullying because she is famous.
"We are human beings. We are not robots. We are not mannequins. And I'm sure all the people saying things wouldn't want those things being said about them, whether it's online or to their face. So I think that's just one thing we always have to remember,” Bailey said.
She also had a message for her young Black fans.
"To every young Black girl, I promise you, I have been there and it's okay to ask for help," she continued. "It's okay to be okay with not feeling great. And I think the one thing I really had to do is find that outlet for me. And that was music and God and the beach and prayer and food … but be open, it's okay.”