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Janelle Monae hopes new project will spark conversation about bullying

Janelle Monae hopes new project will spark conversation about bullying
Janelle Monae (Photo Credit: Splashnews)

Janelle Monae is speaking up about bullying.

She voices the shy and smart Mandy in the upcoming animated movie UglyDolls. Monáe hopes  UglyDolls sparks conversations between parents and their children. She wants to see the film make adults reflect on their own childhood experiences and reassure their kids who have been on the receiving end  “of abuse” — or to find out if their offspring is the “aggressor” in a situation.

She told Black Girl Nerds: “Growing up and being a child, especially today, with social media, the bullying rate is at an all-time high. We know that the suicide rate has increased as well.

“So I hope that when parents and kids watch this film, they have conversations around bully culture.

“The parents may even have stories of when they were growing up. I think it’s essential to have that dialogue because your kid could be on the receiving end of abuse. But it’s also possible your child is the aggressor.”

The 33-year-old singer-and-actress is proud of the way the movie “celebrates the other” and hopes it will help give people confidence in who they are.

She continued: “In the real world, in our country, we’re dealing with people in various positions of authority. We have folks who come from different places around the world, like immigrants or those who love outside of the heteronormative way.

“The film speaks to that. It speaks to the other and celebrates the other. It looks at how you can be a better ally to those around you who are vulnerable.

“It’s about community and what it looks like to start your own when you don’t fit in.

“The message is: Don’t allow anyone to say you’re not good enough. Don’t let anyone break you. Remember you are unbreakable and remember that you gotta start inward. You have to believe in yourself first before you believe in anybody else.”

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