Jill Scott and Janelle Monae both earned some well deserved covers on two of the most popular African American publications and took the opportunity to redefine what it really means to be sexy and beautiful.
Jill Scott, the Grammy Award winning soulful songstress from Philadelphia, was featured on the cover of Ebony with a very handsome man in her arms.
The “So In Love” crooner cuddled her son Jett Hamilton Roberts for her photoshoot before opening up about what it’s like to be the single mom of a young boy.
“That I-can-do-it-by-myself mentality is a lie,” Scott told the magazine about being a single parent. “I’m sorry if I hurt anybody’s feelings, but you cannot do it all by yourself. You need a village: some aunties, grandmoms, friends. I couldn’t do this by myself and would be a fool to think I could.”
The fact that she has a little boy only adds to the challenges of being a single parent because she admitted that while she can teach little Jett a lot of things, she will never be able to teach him how to be a man.
“It’s challenging being a single mom,” she added. “No matter what I do, I’ll never be a man. Ever. I can show Jett how to be a thinker, how to enjoy music or how to feel, and to conquer. But I cannot show him how to be a man.”
What she can teach him, however, is that being sexy has less to do with what’s on the outside and more to do with what’s on the inside.
She explained that the things that make her sexy are what she does and who she is, not just what people see when they first look at her (even though that’s pretty sexy too).
“The way I see things, I think that’s sexy,” Jill said. “The way I think and the way I pray, I believe, are very sexy. I’ve never been the girl with too few clothes on. My mother told me… ‘It’s what you don’t do that makes you sexy moreso than what you do.”
Well it seems like the lovely Janelle Monae agrees with Jill and her mother’s advice.
Janelle took her gorgeous look to the cover of Essence where she proved that women don’t need to be half naked to be beautiful.
The once underground artist has suddenly been shoved into the spotlight and we couldn’t be any happier about that.
After earning several commercial spots and acclaim for her music, she finally walked away with her first Grammy – fully clothed and all.
“I made a decision to be unique,” she told the Essence.
She went on to say that she never wanted to rely on a sexy body or good looks to earn success – and she certainly has both.
While most women don’t hesitate to strip down to sell an extra thousand records, Janelle reminded the magazine that if men don’t have to do it then why should the ladies.
“People don’t ask Jay-Z to take his shirt off when he rhymes,” the “We Are Young” songstress explained.
It’s not easy to fight the peer pressure and stay covered up in an industry that pretty much thrives off sexuality, but much like Jill Scott, the 27-year-old insisted that her body wasn’t what made her sexy in the first place.
She revealed that by keeping her body covered she wanted to “redefine what it means to be sexy and what it means to be a woman.”
“Showing my skin is not what makes me sexy,” she said.
Of course, she still likes other outfits other than a shirt and pants, but she was willing to make that fashion sacrifice in order to send out a powerful message that girls all across the nation desperately needed to hear.
“I like skirts and dresses just like everyone else, but I had a message I needed to put out there,” the “Come Alive” crooner added. “It was up to me to show people and young girls there was another way.”
Both Janelle and Jill’s magazine covers are for the May 2013 issue of the magazines and will be hitting stands in a few days.