Tinashe’s boldness and star power shines through her artistry. I spoke to the Bouncin’ beauty about her passion for art and her keen self of self-awareness. From her stripped-down performance of No Drama for Sony’s Lost In Music to her undeniable dancing skills as displayed in Player with Chris Brown, Tinashe has proven she is an undeniable force.
“It’s doing really great. I would have to say I’m up right now,” Tinashe revealed during a candid chat about her ambassadorship for a new campaign that works to normalize HIV prevention within Black and brown communities. Brought to life by the powerhouse storytelling team Harley & Co and ViiV Healthcare, the initiative features a diverse range of actors, artists, heterosexual, transgender, younger, older, and ethnically-inclusive beings that represent all walks of life. “I feel like it’s getting into summer, I’m getting really busy. I’ve got all of these shows coming up. I’ve got new music coming out. Whenever I’m busy, I find myself in a better place mentally. I think I have less time to ruminate and focus on the state of the world or my own drama.”
While she noted that there was a myriad of reasons for wanting to be part of the campaign, the singer’s primary reason for joining was to spearhead a discussion about the importance of health as a Black woman – something that Tinashe is personally very “passionate” about.
“The LGBTQ community is something that I’m also a part of and really passionate about and want to stand up for, and then the trans community is a community that I want to support and protect,” Tinashe added, as a proud queer artist who publicly opened up about her bisexuality in 2020. “There’s so many reasons why I think that this is an important issue. I really wanted to be involved in something that could help spread awareness and help potentially get the conversation going.”
Presented by ViiV Healthcare and directed by Sarah Hall and Arthur Vallin, the Me in You, You in Me campaign included a social experiment where Tinashe and her fellow selected ambassadors participated in a one-of-a-kind analysis that demonstrated their empathy for one another while overcoming bias. As a key contributor to the hindrance of access to resources and information to protect them from HIV, the campaign video reveals the talent meeting for the first time and stripping down biases and breaking barriers.
HelloBeautiful exclusively caught up with Tinashe about being an advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community, why queer artists should be included in the conversation, and what she does to protect her peace in times of stress or idle-mindedness.
On the importance of conversations around intersectionality and wellness:
“When it feels like certain communities are not discussing it enough, it has kind of a chain reaction throughout us all when it pertains to our mental health. Because we are intersectional as human beings, a lot of us do cross into several different places. We identify with different communities, so it’s important for all of us to continue this conversation and bring it to a larger scale.”
On the statistics surrounding HIV awareness, prevention, and sexual wellness:
“I think the statistics were really jarring for me. I think I knew that it was [an] especially bad problem in the trans community, but I wasn’t aware that 81% of Black and Latinx trans people are new cases of HIV. That’s something that’s incredibly high. Also, the stats for black women were really surprising; there’s something like a crazy percent increase in Black women contracting HIV.
“That’s something that obviously speaks very loudly to me because as a Black woman, it’s very clear that we’re not having enough conversations if we are one of the biggest communities that are on the rise and being affected by this issue. It’s something that I think we need to focus on [and] we need to continue to talk about. Maybe we’re not testing enough. Maybe there’s a stigma that this isn’t one of our problems. This is a gay problem, this is a black problem, this is whatever, kind of, people are putting into these boxes. They don’t think it affects them, but there’s a reason for all of us to get tested. There’s reasons for all of us to be aware of these things and to be really safe with our health.”
On having early conversations with youth about sexual wellness and safety prevention practices:
“It helps chip away at the stigma. I think that people don’t want to have these conversations because there’s this tone of embarrassment or, Maybe I will get judged, or whatever is going through people’s minds. But this is something that really does affect so many of us. To continue to have that hush-hush nature about it is really detrimental to all of our health.”
“In order for us to move forward, in order for us to get rid of these issues, and in order for us as a community to be stronger, we have to be able to be open. We have to have these conversations with people, with young people, with women, with Black women, with LGBTQ youth, with straight people who maybe think that they’re immune. There’s so many ways that this affects us all. We really have to have these conversations early and often.”
On how she defines herself in this era of self-love:
“I think who I am has obviously evolved over the course of my growing up. As an artist, that’s evolved as well and that’s really reflective of my work. Where I am right now in this season that I’m in is just being authentic and getting down to the core, trying to express who I am as a person and really strip back all of the extra things and the production and the lights and the glam.
“I think it’s really important that people get to know me at a core. As this is something that is important to me at a core level, Tinashe the human being, has a lot of things that I’m passionate about and that are really important to me and I want to fight for, and I want to talk about. This [campaign] is something that feels very aligned with that.”
On her personal definition of wellness and top self-care tools:
“Wellness is embodying all of the aspects of what wellness means. To me, that’s physical, mental, spiritual, emotional. There are so many different ways that we can be healthy and that we can have healthy brains and healthy mindsets and do healthy activities.”
“The biggest thing that I do in order to try to focus on that is A, really focus on my art. B, I would say focus on the community that I do have, the people around me that I genuinely trust and for me, that’s my family. I’m really close with my parents and my brothers so spending time with them, making sure that I have conversations with them and connecting with them because they make me feel really grounded and like myself. Probably the third thing that’s most important for me is having my own space. I’m the type of person who likes personal space and the time to think and process and be by myself. It’s making sure that I take the time while I’m really busy to find space and peace and connect with myself in that way.”
On how she’s pouring into herself physically and mentally:
“What I’m currently doing right now is focusing on my art and really immersing myself in the art that I am getting ready to release to the world. That’s one thing that always fills me up and always makes me feel like I’m living my purpose [and] I’m doing what I love to do the most. I may be tired, I may be so busy, but this really brings me joy. This really brings me happiness. Right now, immersing myself in my art is really key.”
On how she harnesses her confidence in her sexuality and sensuality:
“You know, what’s interesting is I feel like my art and being on stage in performance gives me a way to express it. I feel personally the most powerful, the most sexy, the most hot, confident in those spaces when I’m creating art [and] when I’m performing. I think it comes from a place of wanting to inspire the little girl in me or inspire other women or whoever is inspired by that energy. It’s wanting when people see my content or they listen to my music, they feel that sense of, I am also unapologetic, confident, a bad bitch, fully realized. That is something that’s so important for us to live in and to vibe with and to keep that energy going in our day-to-day lives. I wanted to continuously provide a space for people to share that energy with me.”
On expressing to youth that sexuality and gender labels aren’t necessary:
“It’s important to know that your authenticity is your superpower. It’s your strength. It’s what will make you the best version of yourself. Whatever that means for you, however you feel the most authentic, whatever space you’re in, whatever people you’re around, whatever communities feel the most impactful for you, it’s so important that you continue to be in those spaces and thrive in those spaces and really feed your own path – whatever that means.”
“It’s so important for young people, LGBTQ youth, trans youth, young women, Black women, all of the intersections that we continue to empower each other, especially at a really young age. [We need to] empower each other to be our true selves and not try to fit into any of these molds or these boxes that people try to limit us to because we are so intersectional. There are so many different parts of us, and authenticity is key. Just be yourself no matter what.”
On conversations uplifting and educating the LGBTQIA+ community beyond Pride Month:
“It does affect all of us, even people who think that they may be immune to this. This is something that still pops up in our communities extremely heavily. It’s something that we can’t continue to sweep under the rug. We have to have conversations about our sexual health because sexual health is overall health. It’s connected to our wellness as human beings. It’s connected to our mental health. It’s connected to overall wellness and being well, and being healthy as a community, as a society. There’s nothing more important than that. It’s important that we have these conversations and don’t shy away from them, especially for the youth.”
Tinashe Feels ‘The Most Sexy’ When She’s Creating Art and Performing was originally published on hellobeautiful.com
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