Aubrey O’Day is pulling back the curtain on her Danity Kane experience, sharing that she and her four former bandmates were ‘extremely impressed’ by the archetypes they were expected to play as members of MTV’s spawned girl group Making the Band.
“There was just such a desire to put women into boxes. You’re the pretty one, you’re this, you’re the talented one, you’re this. So, like everyone’s always felt so much pressure,” she shared Call her dad. “So, the girls who weren’t considered the pretty ones ended up having tons of plastic surgery and changed their entire looks. The girls who weren’t considered the pretty ones never felt worthy and talented to be in a room.”
According to O’Day, it was one of the latter who from the very beginning felt like a vital part of the group’s look, unappreciated for her talent. She said that despite the hard work she was putting into Danity Kane’s music, she was perceived by her looks and she stood out for being someone she wasn’t.
“They decided how I was going to be seen. This is the production company, this is the network and that’s it [the show’s producer] Diddy. So once you presented yourself to the world in a certain way, I had to spend many years in all kinds of twisted webs,” she explained. The crazy thing is, I’m a huge nerd. I was never sexy, I was never cool, I didn’t have sex until my junior or senior year of college. I wasn’t sexual, I was nothing, I just loved working and I loved being on stage. So suddenly playing that role was weird and I accepted it and owned it as my own because that’s where my opportunity, the direction of opportunities that I was getting at the time. And that probably set a course for me in life that’s very specific and not necessarily authentic to me.”
She also became a victim of body shaming at a young age due to how she was presented in the spotlight.
“Everyone in my group was tiny. When I first did it I weighed 100 pounds Making the Band. I had no boobs, nothing… But then when my body started to change in front of the world…” she said, noting that the scrutiny followed her. “I mean, people still take pictures of me at 17 and then take pictures now and they’re like, ‘God look what happened to her.’ And I’m like, you guys can’t take a picture at 17 and put it next to a 38 year old [person’s] photo. Like, obviously there will have been all kinds of changes over that period of time.”
Looking back on that part of her life, O’Day said she was also subjected to “mind games” at the hands of the men who ran the group. She called the objectification of young women’s beauty and bodies “traumatic” and shared that it was hard to heal from it all.
“Diddy would say, ‘You’re not sexy anymore, what happened? You don’t look like you don’t have curves. You don’t look… I can’t get people to think that you’re my good looking person,'” she said . “And there was no #MeToo at the time, there was no protection for anyone at the time. You signed a million NDAs and a million contracts that stripped you of all rights, so you were really operating in a environment you had no control over.”
O’Day was eventually fired from the group during the show’s sixth season. “I wasn’t willing to do what was expected of me. Not talent-wise, but in other areas,” he said. “I don’t think I would have been able to be so successful in so many other areas if I hadn’t been trained under Diddy. She was the hardest person you can work for and it was torture.”
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