Multiple Grammy award-winning RnB singer Mary J. Blige covers the November cover of W Magazine. Mary is definitely the queen of hip-hop soul. she’s best known for her raw, openly autobiographical songs of empowerment.
She talks on Race, Women, Music and her future.
Mary J. Blige also discussed her divorce. Asked by Weems where she sees herself going and what she wants now, she said:
I want, at some point, to not have to work so hard. I want peace of mind and acceptance of self, totally.
I know that’s an ongoing process, so every single day I’m working on that, and it’s been hard ever since this challenge I’m having with this divorce.
It was such a terrible thing. It made me see myself as “I have to be better than this”: I was never good enough; I was never pretty enough, smart enough. And there was someone chosen over me.
It was like, I can’t stay, but it really let me see, Mary, you are better than that. You have to continue to grow.
The 46-year-old singer also talked about how the role in Mudbound helped stripped her of her vanity.
“I didn’t realize how vain I was until I started working on Mudbound. Once I saw how my character, Florence, lived [in a shack on a farm in Mississippi], I thought, ‘Wow, I’m really a vain person’.
When I went to the movie set to do the first day of fittings, I was Mary J. Blige: I had just done a tour and a show, so I was all, you know, I had wigs and weaves and all sorts of things going on, and Dee Rees was like, “No! We want to see you. You can’t have a perm, you’re going to have minimal, minimal makeup.” And I was like, “What about lashes?” And she said no, and I was like, “Really? Florence doesn’t have lashes?”
That part was a lot! A lot! But once I tore away and sunk into the character, Florence actually gave Mary—me, the so-vain person—a little more confidence so that Mary didn’t feel like she needed to depend on all of that. I cut my hair really short. Florence really liberated me.”
Read the full interview on W Magazine.
Photographed by Carrie Mae Weems and style by Paul Cavaco.
Makeup artist D’Andre Michael for U.G.L.Y. Girl Cosmetics and hairstylist Kim Kimble for Kimble Hair Care Systems at SixK.LA.