Normani Kordei is speaking up about the vicious bullying she has experienced online.
Kordei, 20, reflected on how cyberbullying has affected her while rehearsing with her “Dancing with the Stars” partner Val Chmerkovskiy. The Fifth Harmony member says she felt “helpless and desperate” after people lashed out against her following a recent interview.
“People were calling me the N-word,” she explains. “It was really ugly.” Kordei reveals people went so far as to Photoshop images of her being “whipped, beaten and hung.”
“I shouldn’t want to change the colour of my skin or texture of my hair or the fact that I’m a woman,” the pop star adds of the sexist and racially-fuelled abuse.
A motivated Kordei and her dance partner channelled that emotion into a perfect score from the judges for their contemporary dance piece, set to the late George Michael’s song “Freedom”.
After the show, the “Work From Home” singer told E! News why she opened up about her bullying. “I think for a long time I kind of steered away from myself and I didn’t necessarily recognize who I was at one point just because I was very sad,” she confessed.
“It even affected those around me that genuinely do love me…it was just a really devastating time for me. I think that through this piece, it spoke volumes,” Kordei continued. “Not only for myself, but for so many people who feel the same way that are probably fearful to even speak up because of questioning, ‘Will I be accepted?’ Just scared, it’s a very scary thing and subject.”
“I’m really proud of myself for speaking up and sharing myself with the rest of the world and I appreciate them listening.”
Kordei’s Fifth Harmony cohort Lauren Jauregui sent her lots of love and admiration for speaking so publicly about her hardships.
Words can't express the emotion this dance made me feel. I've sat by your side and held you while you cried and felt every ounce of pain you conveyed on that stage tonight and you are just constantly shining and growing through all the bullshit. I'm so proud to call you my sister and to watch you do what you love and do oh so very best. You're a beautiful little flower, I can't even..if you haven't watched the performance PLEASE DO AND VOTE VOTE VOTE #teamvalmani @normanikordei and @iamvalc thank you for choreographing and executing something so beautiful..I'm obsessed with you both.❤☺❤🦋