“It started with the “I can pull that off” thing. I wore a lot of Chanel, and I wore tons of Céline. Like, I got all the O.G. Céline. Because they were clothes I could fit in. When you listen to yourself and you’re comfortable in who you are, you wear what you feel like fits and looks right on you. And that’s it. I’m ashamed to say it was an aesthetic choice first. I liked something, and I put it on. Then the philosophy came behind it. And I do have my lines. Like, I can’t wear no skirt. Nor am I interested in wearing a blouse. That’s not my deal. But things that are made for women that I feel will look good on me—that I like—I will wear.”
Pharrell Talks Masculinity, Spiritual Warfare, And How ‘Blurred Lines’ Helped His Perspective Of The #MeToo Movement
Pharrell opened up about masculinity, how the internet brings a negative impact and more. The mega-producer and artist sat down with GQ and shared his thoughts on several key issues and hot topics.
On his opinion on the current state of masculinity and how the internet has impacted it:
“Well, when it comes to having this conversation, I don’t necessarily know that the masculinity is new as much as the conversation is new. That’s number one. But I think this is a way that I can speak up at a time where we’re in the middle of a spiritual plight. A spiritual war. When people are online, they have their real identity; then they have, like, a nickname. Right?”
“It gives them this ability to be whoever they wanna be. That’s a spirit. Because they’re no longer defined by the physical—the responsibilities of being connected to all that is. Online your spirit is free to be whatever it wants to be. And what do you see online? F***in’ warfare.”
He also said that people rely on Google more than prayers for answers.
“I’ll bring God into it. A lot of people pray less. So now when you ask a question, where do you get your number one result? Google. You don’t [makes prayer hands], you [makes typing motion].”
He added that many are facing spiritual warfare within themselves.
“We’re followers. And we’re not following God. We’re following men. So that’s spiritual warfare. So when you offered for me to be a part of this conversation, I’m like, “Yeah.” Because think about it. What is happening to a transgender person? What are they going through? They feel like their body is not connected to their spirit. And what kind of toxic environment do we live in that they have to justify how they feel? That must feel incredibly insane. That is spiritual warfare. So I wanted to be in the conversation. On the surface, it is an older-straight-white-male world. But it has prompted this conversation that I think is deeper than what the new masculinity is or what a non-gender-binary world looks like. I think we’re in spiritual warfare.”
He said he doesn’t consider himself an activist in the conversation, but he has been able toss aside what other people think of him.
“I’m not, like, an activist. And I don’t think my opinion is everything. I don’t know anyone else’s plight. I can just say, for me, the minute that I stopped worrying about what other people thought, and stopped catering to the fears that are taught to you—the minute that I let all that s*** go—that’s when I started, like: Oh, that Chanel belt? I could wear that. That Chanel hat? I like it. I could pull that off.”
He also responded to other rappers like Lil Uzi Vert who have been made fun of for their unique style.
“And my point is, why not? What rule [is there]? And when people start using religion as the reason someone shouldn’t wear something, I’m like, What are you talking about? There was no such thing as a bra or blouse in any of the old sacred texts. What are you talking about? I was also born in a different era, where the rules of the matrix at that time allowed a lot of things that would never fly today.”
As for his revelation and how masculinity is connected to the #MeToo movement, he thanked his “Blurred Lines” collaboration for giving him a new perspective.
“I think “Blurred Lines” opened me up. I didn’t get it at first. Because there were older white women who, when that song came on, they would behave in some of the most surprising ways ever. And I would be like, wow. They would have me blushing. So when there started to be an issue with it, lyrically, I was, like, What are you talking about? There are women who really like the song and connect to the energy that just gets you up. And I know you want it—women sing those kinds of lyrics all the time. So it’s like, What’s rapey about that?”
“And then I realized that there are men who use that same language when taking advantage of a woman, and it doesn’t matter that that’s not my behavior. Or the way I think about things. It just matters how it affects women. And I was like, Got it. I get it. Cool. My mind opened up to what was actually being said in the song and how it could make someone feel.”
He also shared his political thoughts as he spoke on his campaign that featured female activists called “This Is Her Time” and said:
“How is it considered controversial to have pregnant women in a campaign? That’s considered, in some instances, taboo, and in other instances, controversial, and in other instances, racy. And I’m like, “What’s racy about a pregnant woman?” What’s racy? We are on the eve of 2020… yet there are still wrinkly old men who are deciding the fate of women’s reproductive organs and using religious dogma and the word Christianity to scare people into thinking that there’s only one way that society can go when it comes to a woman. So I think it’s high time that these brands start to get behind matters and issues and conversations that affect the people who are contributing to their bottom line every quarter.
I’m not the guy saying, ‘Boycott this company.’ There are people who do that. But I think another way to skin the cat is to go in those boardrooms and these marketing meetings and say, ‘Look. Another way to have a great relationship with your audience is to consider what they’re actually going through. What are their plights? Why don’t you show her that you support her?'”
What do you think about everything Pharrell had to say? Tell us in the comments!