Just as actresses and athletes can inspire young women to pursue their dreams, musicians can do the same — and this certainly held true for Missy Elliott’s influence on one Chicago poet.
According to The Huffington Post, 26-year-old poet Miss Haze took to the stage of the Individual World Poetry Slam to honor Missy Elliott, as well as “hip-hop feminism and the power of representation.”
Miss Haze explained in her poem that, after seeing the hip-hop artist’s music video for “The Rain” when she was 8 years old, she decided she wanted to grow up to be Missy Elliott.
Further breaking down the importance of Missy Elliott in her own life, Miss Haze described the impact of seeing someone like her not only being successful, but also living her dreams:
“There were so many artists I could have idolized at the time but Missy was the only one who looked like me. It is because of Melissa Elliott that I believed that a fat black girl from Chicago could dance until she felt pretty, could be sexy and cool, could be a woman playing a man’s game, and not be apologetic about any of it.”
Solidifying the impact of Missy Elliott on feminism and representation, Miss Haze said, “If you ask me why representation is important… I will tell you that right now there are a million black girls just waiting to see someone who looks like them.”