This interview was performed in partnership with LifeStyles Condoms, whose “Smart is Sexy” campaign aims to empower men and women and change the conversation around sexuality by redefining what it means to be sexy.
Princess Nokia is all about confidence. Earlier this year, when Rough Trade released a deluxe version of her hit album 1992, it came replete with extra tracks including the showstopping “G.O.A.T.” On “G.O.A.T.,” Nokia boasts about herself with elegance and bravado, slaying her audience with lines like, “I've been fly, never needed help / I been me, ain't nobody else” and “I got no ass and I got no titties / But all of your dudes, they hit me to hit me.” It is clear that Nokia’s sexual essence comes from deep within: from her self-assurance, from her total embrace of her body, and from her disregard for those who may not agree.
We talked to Nokia to find out where she first got her strength, how she learned to love her body, and what men and women can do to help each other feel as great as she does. Here is Princess Nokia, totally uncovered:
“I've always been comfortable with my body in a way. Though there was a time I was uncomfortable with my body due to my skin condition, 'cause I have severe eczema. When I was a child, I would sometimes refuse to go swimming or hide my arms because my skin was very scarred up or really red. I always had rashes and lots of scars and things like that. I think that was the only time I've been insecure about my body, but other than that when it came to my body type, myself, I've always been an exhibitionist. I've always been really comfortable with the idea of my body.”
“I think I can thank Aneesa [Ferreira] from The Real World: Chicago for that. I remember she was this really cool chick. She was walking around naked in the house, and then she was in the confessional and she was talking about how that's how she was raised, she was raised not to be shameful of her body, that her mother taught her that her body was natural, and that people were born naked, and that the world had made people think they should be ashamed of their bodies. She was happy to be naked because that was her body, and I completely understood what she meant when she said that. Something clicked with me, and I got it. I was like, ‘Yeah, that makes total sense.’ Why should I be ashamed of my body?”
Something clicked with me, and I got it. I was like, ‘yeah, that makes total sense.’ Why should I be ashamed of my body?”
“Another example of that, was when I was in a summer camp. I must have been like 10 or 11, and we were doing showers, and every girl is wearing a bathing suit or clothing while they were taking a shower, and I was buck naked. I thought it was the most preposterous thing, and I was laughing. I was like, ‘Why are you wearing clothes? How are you washing yourself?’ [And they were like,] ‘Why are you naked?’ And I said because I was born this way, and I started running around and flopping around, and being all funny and crazy, and they were just kind of like, ‘Okay.’”
“This is who I am. I'm proud of myself, I don't need to be ashamed. I'm different. I'm weird. I like to be naked. I don't think there's anything wrong with being naked. It's funny and it makes me happy. I’ve always been like that since I was a kid.”
“When people hate on their own body image, I think it’s like what James St. James says in Disco Bloodbath 2000 or the way they say it in Party Monster. Who cares what people think? You've just go to be fabulous. If you've got a hump, just put some glitter on it and go dancing. That's really all I can say, you've just got to accept your flaws and go dancing. Accept yourself, get over it, and just know that it's fabulous. You have to put your hump forward to make yourself believe that you are fabulous and love yourself. Understand that you may not look at yourself in the best way, you might not be the healthiest, why don't we try to go and work on it so you can grow better as a person?”