Why? The ominous question that circles through our heads. “You have to find your ‘why’” people are always saying. Your reason and intention in the things we choose to do with our lives. But sometimes a why that once dripped in bravado and excitement can feel like an awkward teenager. When I moved to LA this question became even more complicated. Sitting in a cafe seeing Spotify analytics up on everyone’s computer. Having conversations with people only to realize they’re only after a follow or a like. I found myself asking, like many of us do, “why?” Because the truth is I’m not inspired by fame. I don’t get off on attention. I’m inspired by connection. Connection is definitely my “why.” But it seems harder than ever to connect when people’s attention is being pulled in so many different directions. Within a million complexities the truth distills into something quite simple – all you can do is create with pure intentions and be as vulnerable as possible. The funny and magical thing about life is when you set that intention, to be vulnerable and be seen, it happens. Quickly.
Recently I was out shopping for the music video for my new single, “Part of You” and I said a little prayer, as I’ve gotten in the practice of doing before doing anything creative. It goes something like, “help me offer my truest self in this experience.” Sure enough, the director calls and says she doesn’t like any of the wardrobe options I’ve given. She talks to me about the song and how it comes from a very vulnerable place and how she’s noticed in my photos and videos that I tend to cover my body. She says it looks like I’m hiding. So she suggests we match the intention of the song with the visual and says, “let’s just put you in some underwear and get you to dance around.” In that moment my junior-high self flared up from some hidden place within. She was right about me. Feeling comfortable in my skin was, and in some ways still is, my biggest self battle. I was relentlessly teased as a child and teenager. Then as an adult I dated people who were verbally abusive about my body. I spent many years feeling trapped and developed some damaging habits and destructive patterns. And I know this story isn’t special or unique – it’s the story for many of us. What makes it meaningful for me is in that moment I said yes when something deep inside was saying no. I said yes to being exposed and seen. And sure, I’m not the first curvy woman to step forward with this narrative, but I’m definitely joining the conversation. And yes, this video is me doing what I can to support the message of all bodies being seen and celebrated; but on a personal level, it’s also about me caring for the little girl in me. It’s about healing that frightened teen who stared at the ceiling wondering if she’d ever be loved.
I knew the comments about my body would come and I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about them. I wasn’t sure if I was ready. And oh, they came.”
Naturally, I was nervous and excited when the video came out last week. I knew I’d get mixed reviews. I’m used to mixed reviews, but this time the stakes felt higher. I knew the comments about my body would come and I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about them. I wasn’t sure if I was ready. And oh, they came. They came hard and fast and with a viciousness and anger that showed the underbelly of a patriarchal system clinging on for dear life. But the beautiful thing was, I felt fantastic. I truly didn’t care. Because I had embraced my “why” and because that connected with some of you. I’ve felt overwhelmed by the messages I’ve received from both men and woman also on the journey of taking care of their inner child and silencing some hurtful voices from the past. I wrote a song that mattered to me with the intention of it potentially mattering to you. So thank you for giving me the most precious gift, your attention. I appreciate the connection, because as you know, that’s what makes my heart flutter.