Despite the arbitrary beauty standards constantly hurled at young women, powerhouse vocalist JoJo has found a way to become truly comfortable in her own skin.
The artist stopped by The Huffington Post on Tuesday to discuss “Mad Love,” her first studio album in a decade (!!!), and opened up about how she overcame the pressure to look a certain way in the music industry. JoJo said dressing to feel confident is one way she’s been able to maintain her healthy body image. She explained:
I don’t dress for men. I dress for myself. So I think that that also makes it easier too... I like to accentuate certain parts of my body, but at the end of the day I want to feel cool. I want to dress cool. So I think dressing to feel confident instead of dressing for the attention of men is something that works for me, just in the way that it helps my self-esteem.
But sometimes it can be a day-to-day struggle, she added.
“It’s an everyday thing. Some days I’m like ‘I feel kinda good. I feel kinda cute,’” she told HuffPost’s Lauren Moraski. “And then other days I’m like, ‘Damn. I’m not comfortable in the skin I’m in.’ But I don’t think that that’s abnormal. I think to be honest about that is not taboo or not strange.”
Earlier in her career, JoJo felt forced to use questionable hormone injections and stick to a strict 500-calorie diet to lose weight. Her career had stalled while she was signed to a stifling contract with Blackground Records and she thought the weight loss would help her career “move forward.” Years after the ordeal and two lawsuits later, JoJo is signed to Atlantic Records and loving her curves.
“I’ve embraced my shape, which is definitely more curvy. I’m petite and I’m curvy and I’m comfortable with it. I really am comfortable with it,” she said.
JoJo added that it’s important for women to lift their peers up, too. Even the smallest compliments can reinforce confidence and make someone’s day.
“It’s as simple as saying ‘Hi, you look beautiful’ or ‘I love your shoes’ or ‘Great manicure’ or whatever it is. It’s easy and if you feel it, you should say it to another woman,” she said.
JoJo’s third studio album “Mad Love” drops Friday. Check out her full interview with The Huffington Post here.