DON’T CALL HER A CELEB: WHY TV + RADIO HOST NESSA KEEPS IT REAL
Nessa has a lot of skin in the media game. She hosts several shows on MTV including the hilarious Girl Code LIVE!, holds it down as one of the few females in hip hop radio with the #Nessa3to7 radio show at the legendary Hot 97 in New York and hosts Nessa On Air online, to give viewers a little behind the scenes action. No matter what she’s working on, she’s earned a reputation as a spiller of truths. We caught up with Nessa on her #perfectlyimperfect tour with Plan B One-Step® emergency contraception to talk about how and why she keeps it real:
I was watching your online interview with fellow #perfectlyimperfect spokesperson and Girl Code LIVE! co-star Carly Aquilino for an episode of Nessa On Air. You guys talk about how guys are more likely to think a girl looks good when she’s dressed down. What are a few other ways that life has shown you that it’s actually better to be imperfect than to spend energy striving for perfection?
I get nice comments on photos when dressed up, but I get the most love when I’m not trying. My boyfriend like me looking bummish, in a way! For me, I’ll do radio every single day on Hot97. And the listeners are the same. They don’t want to hear me be this perfect person on the radio at all. They want to hear that I do the same things [as they do]. I don’t try to carry this perfect, “I’m trying to be a celebrity” vibe. I’m an around the way girl who understands how people feel.
A lot of people think you have the perfect life, or the perfect relationship and that’s not the case at all. I live in a studio and I have two best friends who live with me as well. But maybe because I’m on TV or the radio, people think I have penthouse. And there’s even more pressure added when you’re in an industry where people look at you and put those standard on you, which I think is so unrealistic.
I think most of us look at people’s Instagram feeds–or celebrity lifestyles–and think we need to have these perfect lives, too. So when the pressure to have this perfectly photogenic life gets overwhelming, what do you do the stay grounded? How do you not get caught up in the hype?
Right when I start to feel pressure is coming on, I’ll fall back. I’ll not put myself out there around a lot of people and their energy because it’s so straining. Instead, I’ll be around my family and my trusted friends who are like family. For me, that includes a boyfriend who has the same energy—once we feel something might try to pressure us, we’ll go around loved one who love us for us. We let the REAL love in. I Iike to surround myself with love because it gets so draining when trying to keep up image of something you’re not.
As long as you’re authentic to who you are that’s all that matters. I don’t always look perfect. like to wear sweats and run outside. You don’t have to doubt your actions.
Another thing I do to stay grounded is to walk to work. On that walk, I remind myself what my goals are for the day and be kind to myself and allow myself to allow love in. I go and rock on and do what I do on the radio. Once I’m done, I walk home and reflect on how day was. Later, I share day with boyfriend and not harp on it any longer.
This idea of being authentic instead of perfect seems to resonate with the #perfectlyimperfect campaign you’re doing with Plan B.
It’s this idea that it’s OK to be perfectly imperfect. Things happen and life’s not perfect. Plan A might not work and if so, there’s always Plan B. And that’s OK. It’s all about the comeback—take in the options you have and make the best decision for yourself. Don’t’ let anyone control that narrative for you. It’s your body and you are in control.