Kelly Rowland On Why All Of The Ladies Of Destiny’s Child Will Pass On A Reunion: “We’re Good”
We are a culture of social media addicts. The photos we share, the insight we offer on the goings on of our lives, is delivered through a filter. While it might seem harmless, attempting to live a picture perfect life we don’t have, devoid of flaws and realness, is doing us more harm than good. The department store chain T.J. Maxx, in partnership with Dr. Serena Chen, conducted an online study of 2,000 women last fall. They found that despite 96 percent of women saying they are happier, 89 percent claiming they are healthier, and 97 percent declaring they are more successful when they are being themselves, 51 percent admitted that they filter who they are in order to fit in and succeed. That’s why T.J. Maxx launched their Maxx You Project, in the hopes of helping more women see the importance in embracing what makes them uniquely who they are. Outside of offering their popular workshops, The Maxx You Project, now in its second year, recently launched online classes to help women receive the tools they need to embrace their individuality. They also took on more mentors, including star Kelly Rowland.
We caught up with Rowland to talk about what it took for her to embrace her individuality, especially as a member of a group for many years. We also discussed the women of Destiny’s Child and all the reuniting they’ve been doing lately, as well as the possibility of an official reunion project.
MadameNoire: How did you get into this partnership with The Maxx You project?
Kelly Rowland: Well, I actually found out about it through my agent. She was like, “Oh, this is such a cool project.” I was like, “Yo, you don’t have to explain it to me. You don’t have to try to break it down.” I asked them what can I do to be a part of it. I felt like their messaging to women in owning and embracing their individual style is so necessary, especially in a time where there’s so much influence through social media and TV and celebrity. I think that when people see that maybe this one thing is cool, then they want to just do that. We have to get out of that head space because when we are our most amazing selves, we’re bringing something different to the table. I heard my grandmother say, “The world sho’ll would be boring if everybody looked the same.” And now I understand what she means by that because it would just be bland. I think that’s one of the things I love about coming to New York. When you even just sit outside for lunch, you see all these different people walk by with flair and style and owning who they are. And the women, whether it’s curly hair, hair down to their ankle, to kinky hair and different colors and textures of hair, it’s just so beautiful. That’s what I love about traveling all over the world, you’re able to notice and see and admire different things about different cultures. We can’t be close-minded to ourselves. You have to know that what you bring is unique.
As someone who spent so much time in a group, at what point did you gain confidence in yourself as an individual and your individual style? I mean, I would say probably from the beginning because you stood out with your short haircut. What did it take to embrace your individuality?
Actually, Tina [Lawson] helped me embrace my individual style. I remember she would say, “Oh, you can just throw a bag on Kelly and she’s going to look great.” And whether it was a short cut or curly hair — I remember I would go to the hairstylist and say, “Can we try this? Can we try this?” I just always wanted to see what worked and what didn’t. It was trial and error to be honest. I knew that blonde hair wasn’t a great choice for me and I’d try it over and over again. And I’m like, yeah, no, I love dark hair. Dark hair is my thing. But you have to see what it is that you like and feel it out. That’s what I love about this Maxx You project. There are online classes from experts teaching women and showing them how to really get through their obstacles and overcome their hesitation to own their individuality, and it’s just exciting to watch. It’s exciting to see. It’s exciting to be a part of it now.
I was going to ask you, stepping outside of a group and going solo and having your own moment, how much more fun was it then to kind of just experiment with your look and sound? Because when you’re in a group, you all fall into specific roles: This is this person and she’s that personality and this is what you can expect from her and what she will wear. Getting to be on your own, did that allow you to just try different things?
I just tried out different stuff. I’ll never forget going to the south of France and meeting David Guetta, and he had a track that I just bonded with and I loved so much and went and wrote “When Love Takes Over.” That was not R&B music at all. Destiny’s Child had dance songs, but I absolutely loved that specific track and I knew that it spoke to me in some sort of way. It ended up being a song for so many people, you know what I mean? Usually when there’s some sort of calling or something that only you bring to the table, it’s bigger than you and you have to realize that because somebody’s going to see your light and they’re going to shine from your light, and another person’s going to shine from seeing that other person’s light. So it’s just a domino effect. I love that.
As someone trying to forge your own path and legacy and do your own individual thing, do you ever get tired of being asked about your former group mates?
No! They’re part of me. DC questions, they used to get old, but that’s a part of my legacy. I like talking about it. I’m blessed to have had that. We’re in the Smithsonian! That still blows my mind. My son is going to go to the Smithsonian and see his mother in there. That’s a great part of me and I own that. Of course, [the Smithsonian] was just built like three years ago. Before that I was like, “Oh my God, if I hear one more Destiny’s Child question.” After it was announced I was like, “Ask me about it all day long!” It’s such a great moment, a great part of my life, and I can talk about it all day.
Well, I’m not going to make you talk about it all day, but I was going to say, there’s been so many reunions lately. I know LeToya said you were one of the first people who knew she was pregnant and Beyoncé, LeToya and LaTavia have been coming together at her shows. So people have been asking, is there any way you guys might do some kind of project or are you okay with kind of just staying on your own individual paths?
I mean everybody is doing it. LeToya is pregnant. LaTavia has her little one, and it’s not anything that we’ve talked about. And yeah, Michelle is about to get married! B is out on tour, she’s got a show. I’m about to be in music and movies. We’re good! We’re good.
A big part of the Maxx You project is being a mentor. People have been wondering, are you still mentoring June’s Diary?
I spoke to the ladies last week. I spoke to the ladies last week and, um…they…I spoke to the ladies last week. *nods head*
No problem. I also wanted to ask you, how has being a mom and a wife kind of changed the way you look at yourself and your individuality? A lot of times women can feel like they start to take a backseat in their own lives and lose themselves due to all of the different responsibilities we have.
I think being a wife — I don’t know, I still feel like his girlfriend. I think the biggest thing that we have to remind each other of is, the one-on-one time is important because we also do so much work together. We need that for us. With Titan, being a mother, he literally makes me feel like I can do anything every day. So he was put on this earth for more than just to be my son. He’s also my hero. He came at a time where when he was born, two weeks later I lost my mother. So I was pushed into this moment to where I had to make sure I was strong for him and I was. I still had my time to grieve, but I knew that he was put on this earth for something bigger. He’s just the greatest.
Lastly, speaking of your mother, I wanted to ask you what role her influence and encouragement played in making you the woman you are today and shaping your sense of self?
She’s the reason why I sing. Remember the show Amen? Every time that theme music came on, she was like, “Get up and sing, baby!” Like as a kid, you don’t know what that’s doing. But she was stirring up my gift and she was making it very known to me like, this is what I’m supposed to be doing. This is what gives me so much life. After that she put me in the choir. After the choir was, I’m singing all the time and making Barbie sing, figuring out little songs and meeting other kids who love music just as much as I do. Boom: I ran into another little kid who loves music just as much as I do. Boom: I’m in a group. Boom: The rest is history. You know what I mean? So she shifted into motion my whole life and I’m so grateful to her for that because she could have been the one who ignored it. She could have been the one who didn’t ask me to sing another song. You know what I mean? We have to remember as parents, we do that for our children. We help them to recognize their gifts and what they bring to the table. She did that for me and I’m forever grateful.