Normani Says She Felt ‘Overlooked’ While With Fifth Harmony
The singer also shared that she was bullied a lot growing up.
August 11, 2021 at 11:25 pm
R&B singer Normani revealed that she was the target of racism while a member of Fifth Harmony, according to reports from Allure.
In a candid interview, Normani spoke about her difficult tenure as a member of the all-girl group. As the only Black member of the group that included Camila Cabello, Ally Brooke, Dinah Jane and Lauren Jauregui, she expressed that she never received the same spotlight as her group members.
“I didn’t get to really sing in the group. I felt like I was overlooked,” she said. “That idea has been projected on me. Like, this is your place.”
She also spoke about going to an all-white school and facing micro-aggressions, outright racism and feeling like an outsider.
"I did get bullied a lot," she admitted. "Not feeling like I had that representation at school was very hard."
As a child and relocating to Houston after Hurricane Katrina, Normani said her parents ultimately made the decision to home-school her.
Although she has encountered many obstacles, Normani refuses to be boxed in and is set on expressing her artistry in all of its forms.
"My purpose in this work that I do is for other people that feel like they have Black women figured out. There’s so many layers to us, there’s so many textures, there’s so much that we’re capable of doing," she said. "Yes, I can throw ass. But I can also give you a proper eight-count, and I can do ballet, and I can do contemporary dance. If I want to sing this pop ballad, then you’re going to love it! While you see my Black face!"
This isn’t the first time that Normani went public about how she had to navigate through racism. In an interview with Women’s Health, she explained how dealing with racism almost ruined her confidence.
“Having certain things happen so blatantly while also feeling like the 'other' and being so young and hearing the public compare [us] took a toll on my confidence," she said. "For a long time, I didn’t believe in myself because I didn’t feel like I was given the opportunity to."
Despite battling racism out in public, Normani said her confidence was reaffirmed at home where she often felt beautiful and happy in her own skin. She added that her parents made reinforced that "my skin [being] chocolate was a beautiful thing. My kinky hair was beautiful."
She went on to note how she invented herself as an artist and reconnected with her authentic self.
"My lyrics have more depth, and they’re more intentional and come from a more authentic place because I now feel more connected to myself than before,” she added. “I’ve tried to flip it and control that narrative for myself."
Although the singer shares her most confident self on stage during her captivating performances, she said the rejection she experienced lingers with her. She continues to push through and says the "work that I do is for other people that feel like they have Black women figured out."