JoJo has been the queen of self-empowering, unapologetic music ever since she released Leave, Get Out 12 years ago. (Also, if that doesn't make you feel old, we're not sure what will.) The 25-year-old R&B diva became a household name pretty much overnight, but then she disappeared.
In an interview earlier this year, she opened up about the reasons she'd been under the radar, including how her record label body shamed her and forced her to lose weight. Inspired by those events, she recently penned a beautiful essay for Motto, where she opened up about how difficult it has been for her to grow up in the public eye.
"The road to accepting yourself is paved with reasons why you shouldn't," she wrote. "It can be a real roller coaster ride processing and compartmentalizing all the images and opinions we are confronted with every day."
She then discusses how she was always told to compare herself to others, which almost always had horrible repercussions. Using the president of her old record label as an example, she explains how she was told she "didn't look good enough" to sell her music.
"I wanted to make myself into a better product," she confessed. "So I restricted calories and took supplements and even injections to lose weight I didn't need to lose. It was the unhealthiest thing I've ever done."
JoJo has come a long way since those dark days. She's slowly realizing that her body does not define her as a talented artist and the numbers on a scale are just that: numbers.
"I will never have a thigh gap," she wrote. "At 25, I'm a brick house adorned with battle scars and cellulite, curves, and confidence... And you know what? It's all good."
"The possibilities are endless, really, when you accept how you were made and are able to celebrate your unique beauty and find it in everyone you meet," she continued. "You don't need to make excuses or (apologies) for taking up space, taking your time and being true to you. Whether that's skinny, thick, athletic, chubby, or however you describe yourself... When you accept who you are, it's only a matter of time before others have no choice but to follow suit."
Head over to Motto to read her entire essay.