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India Arie’s Perspective on Janelle Monáe’s Breast Flash Debate

todayJuly 6, 2023 17254 280

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Janelle Monáe, the talented actress and singer, has sparked a heated debate after exposing her breasts during her performance at Essence Fest. The has ignited a heated debate among fans and social media users, with opinions sharply divided.

Just a few months ago, Janelle Monáe made headlines by appearing topless on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, promoting her latest album “Age of Pleasure.” In the accompanying article, she expressed her happiness with her body and proudly displayed her breasts.

What happened next was that during her Essence Fest performance on July 3rd, Janelle Monáe surprised the audience by lifting her shirt and exposing one of her breasts. This act was captured on video shared by the Essence Committee. Many attendees, particularly those with children, felt that it was inappropriate for a family-oriented event like Essence Fest.

One noteworthy response came from Luther Campbell, also known as Uncle Luke, who questioned Janelle Monáe's recent behavior. Some found it ironic since Uncle Luke himself had promoted explicit themes in his . His comments added to the ongoing discussion about the direction of Janelle Monáe's career.

Uncle Luke Tweet reads: “What is this girl going through? She's never been out there like this.. is it a midlife crisis?

Monae's performance at Essence Fest raised concerns for some individuals about the changing trends in the music industry, with more artists using explicit sexuality to gain attention and stay relevant. Some argue that resorting to nudity for attention is unnecessary, while others appreciate Janelle Monáe's confidence and view it as a form of self-expression.

Janelle Monáe's action at Essence Fest has created a debate among fans and the general public. It has sparked discussions about appropriate behavior, the changing nature of the music industry, and the limits of self-expression.

In summary, when it comes to the debate around Janelle Monáe's flashing her breast, let's try to see things clearly. Her nipples were actually covered, and even in the cover, her hair was hiding them. People are making a big deal out of it. It seems that some people enjoy creating drama to get attention. It's important to remember that this situation may not be as significant as it appears when we consider what actually took place.

In the end, let's shift our attention away from the “drama” surrounding her one-breast incident and instead appreciate Janelle Monáe for her valuable contributions to the music industry and the impact of her artistic expression. It's important to look beyond sensationalized events and acknowledge her for her talent, creativity, and the art she creates.

In addition to the reactions from Uncle Luke and the fanatics, the legendary India.Arie has also shared her thoughts on Monáe's Essence Fest performance. However, it's worth noting that Arie's comments were not solely focused on Monáe but also included her opinion on Megan Thee Stallion‘s performance.


used social media to share her thoughts with the public. In one of her messages, she wrote the following:

“The issue is what is CONTEXT. Humanity does EVERYTHING. But does EVERYTHING BELONG IN A STAGE. But does EVERYTHING BELONG IN A STAGE. No. is everything for KIDS? No. is everything for EVERY BODY? NO. so when we as a make something like this mainstream, it shows a lack of discretion and discernment. To those in the comments who laugh at anyone who wants these things for our culture, you certainly have that right. Just as many folks have the right to want our MAINSTREAM International export-out Music – to show us in a respectful light. I'd like to go on the record saying: this won't age well, and that's my issue. I LOVE Janelle AND Meg the way I love us all – AND I don't like this moment. Don't bother debating me lol idc, and I DO this for 25 yrs I've done THIS so read, ponder, or don't.”

After sharing her thoughts publicly, India.Arie faced backlash for her remarks about Monáe and Megan. In response to the backlash, Arie took to her Instagram story to address the situation. She wrote, “I HATE Defending simple logic, so I'm going to just say this. This is not an issue with any of my sisters. Period. I am an old-school, long-time-affirming voice for women. My record speaks for itself. I love humanity, even in all its bullshit LOL! And all I'm saying is context matters. Debate that if you want lol …but I said what I said.”

The singer continued to explain her perspective, stating that she is entitled to her opinion and that she has dedicated her entire adult life to uplifting, loving, affirming, and supporting the well-being of Black women and all people. She acknowledged that her effectiveness in this work may vary depending on who you ask, but she stands by her mission of healing. Arie explained that there is no scandal involved, only one woman expressing her opinion.

Arie continued to express her love for all female artists, understanding firsthand the challenges they face. Arie mentioned her own experience of performing on the Essence Festival main stage multiple times and expressed her concern about certain elements being mainstreamed when they should be considered adult-only entertainment.

India.Arie ended her message on Instagram by saying again that she was mainly talking about the Essence Festival and how context is important. She wants to draw attention to her desire to prioritize her own well-being in 2023 and have thoughtful discussions instead of getting caught up in social media drama. Arie wanted to make it clear that she wasn't trying to criticize other female artists but wanted to talk about the bigger issue of context.

Prior to her Essence Fest performance, Janelle Monae made a significant statement in an episode of What's Underneath. During the interview, Monae shared that it took her a long time to feel comfortable with her breasts. She was taught to avoid anything that would attract male attention. But she eventually realized that it was not her responsibility to modify her freedom to make others comfortable. This realization empowered her to express herself freely and true to who she is.

Watch The Full Interview: The What's Underneath Project

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Written by: Silvia Tine

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