INTERVIEW: The Cimorelli sisters talk body image and cyberbullying
Never heard of Cimorelli? Do one quick YouTube search of this six-sister band and I can guarantee you’ll be instantly hooked by their contagious smiles, empowering lyrics and amazing covers.
Whether they’re singing covers of Taylor Swift and Maroon 5 or belting out one of their original songs, their flawless and angel-like harmonies will give you chills. But behind all the bubbly smiles lie some serious words of wisdom about touchy subjects like cyberbullying, body image and the objectification of women. Heck, I honestly think 15-year-old Dani is wiser than I am when it comes to this stuff. On the outside looking in, it seems like these six stars have it all together. But once I dug beneath the surface, I discovered that these girls have insecurities and flaws, too — and they weren’t afraid to talk about them.
SheKnows: If you could describe your music with three or four adjectives, what would they be?
SK: What’s the main message behind most of your music?
Christina: It’s really hard to say what the main message is because they’re all so different. It’s just about expressing yourself, because sometimes just the act of expressing yourself is a positive thing. So the main message behind it all is just that whatever you’re going through, actually feel it and acknowledge it and express it, whether it’s some fun thing, or some dramatic and emotional thing or just some relationship thing.
Katherine: I think another thing that comes up in a few of our songs, like “Million Bucks” and “I Got You,” is a message that relationships are more important than material things. I think another thing [in our music] is accepting yourself and loving yourself for who you are. You don’t have to change anything to be valuable — you already are.
SK: Given your huge online presence, you obviously have a dedicated fan base. But have you ever experienced any negativity from people online? If so, how do you deal with that?
Dani: I would say the No 1. way I deal with that is to just not look at it. Sometimes, I’ll do things that will cause a large group of people to get mad at me on Twitter, so what I do is just delete the Twitter app for the day or a couple days and I just won’t look at it because if I didn’t see it, did it really happen?
Christina: That’s my quote: “If you don’t see it, does it even exist on the internet?” If you don’t even look at the internet, it’s like this random world. It doesn’t actually exist if you don’t look at it.
Amy: That’s the main difference between that and negativity in your real life, because the internet isn’t actually your real life. But it’s way easier to just put it away, and it’s gone.
Christina: If you do see it and it’s in your real life, then the best thing to do is to put it in perspective. You have to ask yourself if that person’s opinion really matters. I once heard from my favorite person — Renee Brown, who I really love — that you should have a small list of people whose opinions really matter to you, and it should be really small, like under 10 people. They’re close people to you, probably family and some friends, and I have that small list in mind and those people’s opinions really matter.
SK: What’s the hardest part about being a female in the music industry?
Lisa: I think a lot of people will try to put pressure on you to objectify yourself.
Dani: I could write a 10-page essay on it.
Christina: There’s an email that I saw that said, “Can we put the older girls in more revealing outfits because they’re older?” And we were like, “No.” I thought that was really wrong because you wouldn’t say to a guy in the music industry, “Can we put the older guys in revealing outfits?”
Dani: I think one of the hardest things — at least for me — is that there’s this natural level that everyone expects girls to be on in looks and talents and all of this stuff in the music industry. I just feel like there’s this underlying theme that if you don’t look a certain way or wear something or whatever, then you’re not gonna make it in the music industry. It’s just really annoying having to hear that all the time.
Lisa: I feel like the people who make it the farthest are the ones who ignore that and kind of break out of it.
SK: Which female artists do you look up to for inspiration?
Lisa: I absolutely love Demi Lovato. I think she’s amazing and I love how when she came out of rehab, she was really vocal about it and put it out there for other people to see and experience, and showed that she was going through it just like other people. I really appreciate the things that she does.
Christina: Mariah Carey is really cool because she literally is not scared of saying anything to anyone. She’s never like, “Oh no, I don’t wanna offend anyone.” She’s just like, “Eh, I’m just gonna say it,” which is a lost art. Even I’m thinking right now, “Am I gonna offend anyone?”
SK: Body image is a huge topic among celebrities these days, and it’s something young women struggle with. Did any of you ever struggle with it, being in the music industry, and how did you overcome it?
Amy: I think every single person that’s alive struggles with body image. It’s not just a girl thing, but it’s easier for us to talk about it because we’re girls. Every one of us has struggled with different things because there’s so much pressure put on women. There’s some mythical creature running around somewhere that somebody saw one day and said, “That’s what every woman should look like.” I don’t know who this person was, but somebody saw it one day.
Dani: Well this mythical creature is a shapeshifting creature, because it’s a different thing every week of what a girl should look like! Whatever.
Christina: When I was younger in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, the thing was being really, really skinny. But then, right after that came the whole “real women have curves” thing — that was really popular. For me, I was having a hard time gaining weight and I was really thin and muscular, and I felt like I wasn’t a woman. I felt like I was just going to look like a teenage boy for the rest of my life. I really struggled with that. I thought no boys were going to like me because I didn’t even look like a woman.
Lisa: I feel like the key is to just realize that there’s billions of people in the world and everyone appreciates different things. People will like you for different reasons and at the end of the day, what you look like is what you have to accept and deal with anyway, so you might as well just take care of yourself and love yourself and realize that what you look like is not even the most important thing anyway. There’s too many opinions — you just have to shut them out and be yourself.
Katherine: There was a quote I read in a magazine and it was this supermodel saying if you put together a group of supermodels — they’re all these gorgeous women who have the bodies that people want — that you’ll never find a group of more insecure women. Even the people that we think have it all do not necessarily feel that way.
Amy: For me, I feel like we’re so much more than just our physical being. That’s not who we are. We’re our brains, we’re our souls, we’re our minds, we’re our thoughts, we’re our personality. We’re a whole being, but a lot of times, women and men — especially in the entertainment industry — they’re all reduced to bodies and objects, and that’s not right and that’s not what we are. I think people are dehumanized a lot.
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