It can’t be easy growing up in the public eye, but for the better part of the last decade Chloe Bailey, now just Chlöe, has been doing exactly that. Since she and sister Halle first enchanted listeners with their ethereal harmonies as tweens, the duo has garnered a development deal (and mentorship) from Beyoncé, shaken up their pristine public personas with college-appropriate (albeit fictional) shenanigans on Grown-ish, and more recently, each has embarked on independent ventures.
For a now 23-year-old Chloë, that has meant leaving the last of her child star days behind in favor of a racier image, as she’s become a social media sex symbol—and built on that new vibe with a hot debut solo single, “Have Mercy.” But that self-discovery and newfound self-confidence has garnered a substantial amount of backlash and outright bullying from social media’s “thumb thugs”—an experience Chlöe explored during the second season finale of the Facebook Watch Original Series Peace of Mind with Taraji.
“Social media, it’s such a love-hate thing; you’re constantly comparing yourself online with other people,” she noted in conversation with Taraji and co-host Tracie Jade, adding, “but I’m not changing for anyone.”
“They’re talking, so I’m doing something right,” she later quipped—refuting the idea that she’s pandering to male attention of “selling sex” while also admitting the scrutiny has sometimes taken its toll. “I can’t sit here and lie and say ‘I’m bulletproof, nothing hurt me,’ because it honestly did.
“I’m just appreciating and loving myself and my body—and I didn’t think there was any problem with that,” Chlöe continued, reminding viewers that celebrity isn’t armor. “[P]eople can see and scope and analyze and all of that, but that doesn’t negate the fact that we are humans. We are not robots.”
Beauty influencer Okaysophi also made an appearance on this season’s tenth and final episode, revealing the brutal, often colorist insults and threats she’s experienced online and in life as a dark-skinned, plus-sized woman—and how difficult it’s sometimes been to cope.
“I don’t want to be portrayed as an angry Black woman or don’t want to get dragged [for clapping back]. I don’t want to deal with all that,” she admitted, adding: “as a Black woman, especially a dark-skinned woman, people hold you in higher standards. And automatically I feel like if I do say something, I’ll get canceled or get dragged or just made fun of, I don’t want to be in a situation where people feel like I’m in the wrong or come at me sideways just because I’m defending myself.”