Toya Delazy Opens Up About Body Image In The Age Of Instagram
By Michelle October; Photograph by Simon Wiseby
“I don’t feel like posting pictures of my tummy or like ‘Look at my bicep!’ or whatever”
In Toya Delazy’s new music video for the song Greatest (off her new album Uncommodified), she’s wearing a bright orange crop top. There aren’t rippling abs, the kind you see in most music videos, but rather a body much like yours or mine. It’s super cool to see, but Toya shrugs it off. “I’m not a scrawny person, but I just think people need to be healthy,” she says. “We can never all be the same shape.” It’s also part of the message of Uncommodified: that we should do away with being boxed into societal norms. “It’s all about us not trying to fit into what society now says we must, whether it’s our standards of beauty, whether it’s our stand of success, or however you feel,” she says.
To her, exercise is an important part of her life that keeps her level-headed more than anything else. “I always start with exercise in the morning, and if you don’t do it, you just feel like you can’t achieve certain things, like whereas where if you do train, your mind is just so strong and you’re confident, you’ve got this discipline; you know you’re capable of doing that,” she says. And if you don’t associate Toya with exercise, that’s because she doesn’t feel the need to post about it on social media. “Exercise is important. You wouldn’t know ‘cause I don’t post [about] it, I do post a few pictures but I’m not too vain so I don’t feel like posting pictures of my tummy or like, ‘Look at my bicep!’ or whatever.”
Having said that, there are times when Toya wants to slim down a bit. “After a really long tour and I’ve been incredibly unhealthy, I definitely want to shave off some bits,” she says. But not to look a certain way or attain a level of attractiveness. “Cause I like myself; I don’t want to be like, ‘wobbly’,” she says. “This is just a personal decision, I like it when I’m healthy, toned – I like being toned. I’ve always been athletic so I just prefer myself that way.”
Juggling your social media with your work can be difficult, especially when you work in a space where being “out there” is important. It’s something Toya’s struggled with. “There was a time where I started taking it more serious than I should,” she says. “That’s when I reconnected to myself once again and thought about what’s really important. [I asked myself], ‘Is this the one thing now that’s going to rule my life, that I’m going to stress about? Or could I be chilling outside, calming down, working, finishing my projects?'” Now, she’s got a more balanced approach to social media. “I prefer to use my social media for when I’ve got something to announce or just something on my chest that I want to share. I don’t want to be defined by my Instagram or my Facebook. They’re just applications at the end of the day,” she says.
We couldn’t agree more. Make sure you listen to Uncommodified, out now.