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Watch out world, Chloe Bailey is grown now.
The 23-year-old actor and musician has long made waves as one half of the powerhouse duo Chloe x Halle, but over the past year, both sisters have come into their own as individuals. While Halle has been filming The Little Mermaid live action film, Chloe has explored her unique style and confidence in Instagram videos, Nina Simone covers, and music production — successfully weathering a tidal wave of internet commenters and any possible storm that could come her way. (And frequently trending on Twitter for her immense talent while doing it.)
She’s not unlike her Grown-ish character Jazlyn Forster: passionate, determined, and always, always growing as a person. At the end of season 3, fans saw Jazz reckon with her priorities, ultimately ending her relationship with Doug (Diggy Simmons) and failing in her bid for the Tokyo Olympics — though her sister Sky (played by Halle) succeeded. Now, as season 4 kicks into high gear on Freeform, we’re seeing Jazz navigate the consequences of her actions, and a tumultuous coming of age era where making decisions to benefit your future can be a power struggle of the mind and heart, especially when love is involved.
“I am proud of her for not putting a relationship or man before her career,” Chloe tells Teen Vogue about where Jazz ends up at the beginning of season 4. “Even though the results didn't turn out the way she wanted because she didn't make it to the Olympics, I still commend her because she still tried to put herself first.”
Over the course of 2021, audiences have seen Chloe put herself first, too. In opening her own Instagram, she’s taken ownership over her body, her image, and her considerable skill; she clearly centers what brings her joy, even when it's been met with the resistance of spectators projecting their own expectations. In simply being herself, Chloe is a mood board for young women, from her juggernaut performances, killer fashion, and phenomenal hairstyles.
“I definitely have to give props to my mom for [growing my confidence in wearing natural hairstyles,]” Chloe says. “Because ever since I was about three years old, I've had locs. I've grown up in Atlanta, Georgia, and I thought nothing was really different with my hair from the other kids. Definitely, I realized early on in the industry, having locs wasn't really normal. But I feel like when you are confident with yourself, and you own it, then everyone else has to catch up to that. And I'm so grateful to be given a platform as a young Black woman with locs.”
Chloe is using her platform for good in other ways, too. After the police murder of George Floyd, Chloe x Halle pushed back their album to show solidarity to the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as taking part in protests. “We truly believe music is a healer, and we hope that’s what our album can do for anyone who’s still feeling icky inside, and upset, and angry,” Chloe told TIME back in 2020 about their Grammy-nominated, critically-acclaimed album Ungodly Hour.
Meanwhile, the sisters have continued their work on the forward-thinking Grown-ish, a show that is unafraid to spark conversations as wide-ranging as the realities of life such being a single parent in college, race and the desirability hierarchy in dating, and police brutality. “I'm looking forward for the audience to see how us as seniors deal with the Black Lives Matter movement, and how we deal with finding our inner voice and our own individuality,” Chloe says, adding that there’s plenty of drama, as well. “Expect personal growth and evolution from my character Jazz.”
She’s now a fully-fledged multi-hyphenate, with singing, producing, and acting under her belt — and a recently announced starring turn in the Creator+ film Jane, alongside Riverdale’s Madelaine Petsch. Whether taking the stage with Halle or creating a path all her own, Chloe Bailey continues to be a force to be reckoned with.
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Want more from Teen Vogue? Check this out: Chloe x Halle Talk Police Brutality and Postponing Their Album
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue