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Grimes
Photography Eli Russell Linnetz

Grimes reflects on hiding her body to be taken seriously as an artist

‘When grimes first started ppl kept saying it was only cuz of ‘my looks’... i rly wanted to prove that if I could be successful as an artist it was cuz of my art’

In a new post shared to Instagram, Grimes promotes her role in the upcoming video game Cyberpunk: 2077. The artist will feature on the soundtrack of the near-future role-playing game, as well as voicing the “cyborg popstar” Lizzy Wizzy, who – as previously teased – has her whole body replaced with cybernetics after dying onstage.

In the comments to the Instagram post though, Grimes talks about her own body and how she’s had to tailor her image to be taken seriously as an artist throughout her career.

The discussion begins with a question from a fan, who asks: “What caused you to start taking more revealing pictures? Most of your career you would barely even show your legs, so I’m just curious what has changed.” The Instagram photo shows her topless in a mirror, wearing self-styled body art.

“I always said I’d never try to look hot etc etc until I was 30,” Grimes replies. “Def was being overkill and taking criticisms to heart too much haha.”

“But when grimes first started ppl (especially in the mtl scene) kept saying it was only cuz of ‘my looks’ (which is silly cuz I looked insane at the time),” the musician adds. “In any case i rly wanted to prove that if I could be successful as an artist it was cuz of my art. so I went out of my way to try to make it only about the art.” 

Grimes also suggests that modifying her image was “a relic of a type of sexism that seems to be disappearing.”

“But I love my body and stuff and as I declared in 2014 or whatever I’ll do what I want now that I’m older.”

Back in 2016, Grimes also spoke out about people policing her body on social media, explaining her decision to start shaving. “I am rebelling against my previous body hair, because now people get mad when I shave my legs,” she said at the time. “So I’m like, ‘I have the right to shave my legs.’ I think people policing my body either way is bizarre.”

View her Cyberpunk: 2077 post (and comments) below.