#IStandWithChloe: Chloe Bailey and sexual liberation on social media

There’s no doubt that singing sister duo Chloe x Halle have used the pandemic to their advantage. After releasing their second studio album UnGodly Hour last year, they have been working non-stop to serve outstanding visuals, breathtaking live performances, and an interactive social media presence on their joint Instagram page. 

This UnGodly Hour era has shown us that this Grammy-nominated duo is extremely talented – but with tracks like Forgive Me, Do It, and the title track Ungodly Hour it has also shown us that the siblings aren’t the 13-year-old and 11-year-old girls singing on YouTube anymore. 

More specifically, Chloe, ten years later, is a woman blossoming into her sexuality.

After watching her perform, it’s easy to become enamoured by Chloe’s sensuality. She exudes confidence and she doesn’t shy away from it. And when the duo decided to make personal Instagram accounts, the sexy side of Chloe made its appearance on everyone’s Instagram feeds. 

While there were some who praised Chloe’s posts, others were very critical about it, with some suggesting that she was trying to use her body and sexuality to gain attention. 

Now, if Chloe was attempting to ‘gain attention’, it would be her prerogative – after all, it’s her body, she can do what she wants with it and use it to how she sees fit.

However, she addressed the backlash she was facing and said that she was actually just trying to “show the world who I am inside”. 

Chloe revealed that she struggled with her self-confidence and it took her a long time to learn to appreciate herself and feel that she was pretty enough to post the things that she’s posting now – something many women can relate too as society continues to uphold very strict beauty standards, making it hard for many women to feel pretty in their own skin. 

Following Chloe’s comments, the hashtag #IStandWithChloe was born, as many women stood in solidarity with the 22-year-old and said that they finally got the confidence to post their own sexy photos on Instagram after Chloe did it.  

The #IStandWithChloe movement comes in the wake of the Silhouette challenge and most notably, the Buss It Challenge, a social media challenge in which women posted videos of themselves transitioning from casual looks to sexy ensembles in a matter of seconds while dancing to rapper Erica Banks’ song, Buss It.

The challenge was something celebrated amongst Black women – including Chloe who posted her very own Buss It Challenge – and further showed Black women owning their own beauty and sexuality in a way that has often been degraded by others and commodified by many.

As social media becomes more normalised and engrained into the fabric of everyday life, it’s great to see Black women use it to their advantage and in a way that they choose. 

Besides, anyone who has seen Chloe perform should not have been shocked or offended by her Instagram posts. But it makes me wonder: why was there such a shift in reactions to her performances versus her IG posts?

Well, probably because the performance is for the consumer. The artist is putting on a persona and looking to entertain the audience. When Chloe is being sexy on stage, it’s perceived as though she is being sexy for those who are watching. 

But Chloe’s personal Instagram page is for her. She posts things on there because she wants to post them, not necessarily for the benefit of her art that others will consume. When she posts things that others would deem as ‘sexual’ on her page it is her being sexy for her own gain. Regardless of whether it’s for her confidence or attention, it is for her.

In a way, it is liberating. It shows that all Black women aren’t “made up, clean-cut”, in the words of Chloe. We are multifaceted and Chloe is a reminder that we are free to be all parts of ourselves, even sexy. 

#IStandWithChloe is a stand with Black women being themselves – whenever and however we want to be.

One thought on “#IStandWithChloe: Chloe Bailey and sexual liberation on social media

  1. #IStandWithChloe too. It is always frowned upon when women embrace their sexuality when it isn’t for directly to please men and that is an idea that I am happy our generation is shifting away from.

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