Glee star Amber Riley addresses everything in a recent interview with star journalist, Brande Victorian.
Rivera died in July after disappearing at California’s Lake Piru during a day out with her young son, Josey.
Since then, fans and celebrities alike have spoken about Naya’s impact on their lives.
Notes from the interview below:
Amber Riley on Naya Rivera and Jas Waters:
“I think grieving is a never-ending thing. Many people often think that grieving is a destination. Some days I think of her and I laugh and some days I think of her and I cry. I also lost an incredible friend to suicide this year who is an incredible writer and I was looking forward to working with her, Jas Waters. So that was really difficult. She committed suicide and she died a couple of weeks before Naya so it was like a double blow. It was very, very hard to come to terms with, but we’re making sure that we look out for her son because she was an incredible mother and if anybody knows Naya, she loved Josey. She loved that boy and I’m looking after her mommy too.”
Amber Riley on the body-positive movement:
“I don’t really f-ck with the body-positive community. I was pushed into it when I was on ‘Glee,’ which was crazy because I was young. I hadn’t even decided who I was and what I wanted to be. I just was this size on national television.”
“My body is mine. I don’t need a community telling me what to do with it. I always have to be 100 percent real with myself. Honestly, if your confidence is predicated on the way that I look, it’s not confidence. I’m not anybody’s idol. Don’t worship me. Don’t get used to me being any size. I can get bigger, I can get smaller. I’m going to love myself either way, but I’m not asking for permission.”
Amber Riley on anxiety and depression:
“I’ve dealt with anxiety my whole entire life and didn’t know I was dealing with depression at all so I ended up having to take the time to get help, to talk about stuff, get some stuff out, and then as I’m going through the healing process I was like, alright, let’s get back into the studio. I’m still going through this depression and anxiety pretty badly, you know what I’m saying, but let me use music as my therapy.”
“Part of my anxiety had to do with my size,” RILEY says, explaining she’s had curves since she was a kid. “I was overly sexualized when I was young so I’d always dress in big t-shirts and shapeless stuff my whole entire life. I didn’t like that I had hips already. I didn’t like that I had boobs. I hated it because I didn’t like that kind of attention. Being young, I didn’t know that people oversexualized Black girls in general.”
Amber Riley on big girl energy:
“Big girls are not out here [desperate]” she says, detailing a line in the song that asks a man when he’s leaving. “I literally wrote that to talk my sh-t.”
“There may be some that have low self-esteem – for good reason— because this world tries to make it seem like fat women shouldn’t exist. Not fat men so much. They don’t get the same bullsh-t that we have to deal with.”
“I wrote that song ‘Big Girl Energy,’ that was part of the reason that I wrote it, to just be like we not out here chasing y’all. What? You think I have low self-esteem and you just gone treat me any kind of way? I’ll move on to the next.”