Growing up, Chloe Bailey was always curvier than her peers. The difference made the singer, 23, want to hide her figure, but she credits stars like Beyoncé for helping her learn to love herself.
"I can honestly and genuinely say it was Beyoncé who made me look at my body and say maybe it is OK to have my body," she spilled to Yahoo's In The Know. "Maybe it is OK to have a plump butt. Maybe it is OK to have to shake and jump to fit in my jeans."
Since then, the star has confidently embraced her shape, but doing so has also made her a controversial figure in some people's eyes — though she's quick to point out the gender-based double standards of our society.
"When I hear the word 'sexy,' when I want to be sexy, when I want to feel sexy, I don’t really think of that as a bad thing. I don’t think of it as being promiscuous. That’s just being confident," explained the Atlanta native. "A man can sit up there with his shirt off, ripped, and, like, flex his pecs and all that s**t. That’s sexy. But he doesn’t get ridiculed for doing that. It’s when a woman pokes her ass out, when she poses a certain way so her hip curves more, or when she puckers her lips and has her boobs perched up in her bra, that’s when it’s a problem. You know?"
Bailey noted that society has never "been comfortable with [a] woman being powerful in the skin that she’s in."
She added, "No matter what women do, no matter how talented we are, no matter how screwed on our head is, someone will always have a problem because we choose to celebrate our body and the skin that we’re in."
However, the "Have Mercy" crooner refuses to hide herself, and she hopes that more women will follow her lead.
"No matter if you have a slim figure or if you have a more curvy figure, you shouldn’t dim your light, period. We shouldn’t form ourselves and do certain things just because of what we think the world will say," she stated. "It’s not fair to ourselves to do that because it’s more work thinking that way. It’s easier to just be yourself and have fun and be free. It’s more stifling and more suffocating when you’re calculating what you can and can’t do just because other people can’t."