Despite Normani’s recent breakthrough with Motivation, Camilla Cabello’s hair (and bearding) continues to be Fifth Harmony‘s most famous alum. Even after a slew of racist Tumbler posts resurfaced, Camila’s hair and beard(ing) are still dominating the spotlight. However, today Normani took center stage with a statement she released to Rolling Stone Magazine addressing her experiences with racism during her time in 5H (and continues to face), and implicated Camila by saying it took “years for her to take responsibility for the offensive tweets that recently resurfaced.” I would hate to be Camila’s hairbrush right now. She’s probably rage brushing herself bald as we speak.
Normani is featured on the March cover of Rolling Stone alongside Megan Thee Stallion and SZA. When she was initially interviewed for the issue, she was hesitant to speak too directly about the treatment she received as the only black member of 5H, or about Camila specifically. In the interview Normani said:
As a black woman with young black fans, she wants to be “concise” with how she addresses it. “I just want to make sure that anything I say is exactly what I mean,” she offers. “I’ll get back to you on that.”
However, Rolling Stone summarized the drama, at least the public portion of it.
As the only black member, she often felt like “the other one in the room.” She was targeted by racist bullies online after a subset of Harmonizers believed Normani had slighted Cabello by calling her “quirky.” Trolls posted Photoshopped images of her being lynched; others sent death threats. “She’s still scarred from that,” her dad says.
ONTD has all the other receipts, including hacked text messages in which Camila allegedly referred to Normani as the n-word, and no she didn’t call her “nice.” Well, it turns out Normani actually did get back to them, and sent RS an email finalizing her thoughts. Normani writes:
“I want to be very clear about what I’m going to say on this uncomfortable subject and figured it would be best to write out my thoughts to avoid being misconstrued, as I have been in the past. I struggled with talking about this because I didn’t want it to be a part of my narrative, but I am a black woman, who is a part of an entire generation that has a similar story,”
I face senseless attacks daily, as does the rest of my community. This represents a day in the life for us. I have been tolerating discrimination far before I could even comprehend what exactly was happening. Direct and subliminal hatred has been geared towards me for many years solely because of the color of my skin. It would be dishonest if I said that this particular scenario didn’t hurt me. It was devastating that this came from a place that was supposed to be a safe haven and a sisterhood, because I knew that if the tables were turned I would defend each of them in a single heartbeat. It took days for her to acknowledge what I was dealing with online and then years for her to take responsibility for the offensive tweets that recently resurfaced. Whether or not it was her intention, this made me feel like I was second to the relationship that she had with her fans.”
Normani went on to say that “everyone deserves the opportunity for personal growth,” and that she hopes she will “never have to speak on it again.” Normani concluded by praising “brown men and women” saying “our power lies within our culture” before metaphorically snatching Camila bald by ending with “I deserve to be celebrated and I’m just getting started.” You heard her, she’s coming for that 5H solo crown no matter how tangled up in Camila’s hair it is. #BackflipsNotBeards
Pic: Rolling Stone via Instagram