Akira Armstrong is without a doubt a force to be reckoned with! From former Beyoncé backup dancer to founder of the Pretty Big Movement she has a pretty impressive list of accomplishments. She is also a body activist and the inspiration behind our latest #iwontcompromise powersong against prejudice. Here, she tells us how it all went down and what’s next for her!
Did you have any clue what to expect the day of the shooting?
On the day of the shoot I was completely thrown off guard. I’m truly appreciative of my PBM members taking the time to commit themselves to such an amazing surprise for me.
How did it all go down that day?
On the day of the shoot I woke up bright and early. As I was on my way to the set my publicist called and informed me that the girls would not be filming with me and that I was to tell them to stay home. I was immediately concerned and very confused. I wanted all my members present to shoot with me on that day but, since I was told that it wasn’t going to happen I basically had no control over the situation. As the day progressed I just kept thinking to myself “All this filming equipment and large production cannot all be for me.” Once the filming crew was back from lunch, I got fitted for my last look for the day and was told that I would be shooting on the roof. I was excited and couldn’t wait! As I reached the top of the staircase, there were a ton of cameras on me and I was instructed to walk to a chair in the next room; that’s when I saw my face appear on the screen. As the video began to play, I instantly became emotional. All I kept thinking was when did the PBM team and production find the time to document all of this if I was around at every moment. When the video ended I was instructed to go to another room and as I turned the corner I saw my Pretty BIG members dancing their lives away. The rest is HISTORY!
Did you have any idea that your dancers were involved?
I had no clue whatsoever that the dancers were involved.
Which part of the video was your favourite to shoot and why?
My favorite part of the video was the subway scene. As a New Yorker there is always live entertainment on the trains and I never had the guts to dance on the subway. New Yorkers are very judgmental; but when I was with my PBM team I didn’t think twice about it and felt confident because my girls were with me.
Which song lyric is your favourite and why?
My favorite lyric of the song is: I was ready to move I was made to shine but you couldn’t handle it, you’re so uptight. I got pushed aside even if I had it I’m gonna shake shake what I’ve got and TAKE IT BACK! The reason why this particular part of the song is my favourite is for this reason and this reason only. People who have seen greatness in me have sometimes went out their way to not except me for who I am. They tried their darndest to keep me at a certain level, to keep me down, but I kept on moving and dancing and never gave up.
You’ve accomplished so much, what’s next for you?
The next thing for me is a book. I think it’s time that world knows who Akira Armstrong really is!
If you could give 1 piece of advice about how to handle prejudice, what would it be?
One piece of advice I would give is never give up and always stay true to yourself! Love yourself and be kind to yourself!
Do you have any other questions for us or Akira? Let us know by commenting be