John Legend, who partnered with skincare brand SK-II and Simone Biles on a film series that’s all about combating negativity and overcoming pressures, shares what he learned with his 5-year-old daughter Luna.
The Grammy-winning singer, 42, appeared on Monday’s episode of the PEOPLE Every Day podcast and spoke to host Janine Rubenstein about his exciting project with Simone Biles, and how he’s trying to teach his 5-year-old daughter not to be competitive when it comes to looks.
“I don’t know how we’re gonna steel up our kids for that, but we’re gonna try to give them values of being kind, being loving, and putting positivity out into the world,” said Legend, who partnered with skincare brand SK-II and Simone Biles on VS., a short film series featuring Biles and five other athletes, about overcoming negativity and pressures from outside sources. (He wrote the theme, “Take a Look,” as an empowering anthem for those dealing with criticism.)
That important messaging was part of what attracted Legend to the SK-II campaign with Biles. He said he loved that “as we get ready for the Olympics, we’re celebrating these athletes but also talking about some of the challenges they face.”
“[Simone]’s such a gifted, gifted athlete. Once in a generation,” he said. “But she still deals with challenges. People critiquing the way she looks and people harassing her online and trying to, you know, shoot her down even as she’s succeeding in such a monumental way. And despite all of that, despite all those challenges, she still continues to triumph over adversity.”
Her resolve to rise above such negativity is what inspires him to have these conversations with his kids.
“I want to continue to talk to them about not being competitive about the way they look,” said the father of two, who also shares son Miles, 2½, with wife Chrissy Teigen. “That’s a challenge because even at age five, Luna was asking me the other day, like, ‘Who do you think is prettier between this and that person?’ “
Even at a young age, Legend said it’s important to him to let his daughter know that “everyone’s beautiful in their own way.”
In response to his daughter’s question, the star said that he recalled saying, “‘I don’t really want to answer that because it’s not really up to me to decide who’s prettier. And everybody’s pretty and everyone’s beautiful in their own way. They’re just different from each other. And what’s different is what makes you special.'”
“You want to tell them that, but it’s also so many messages out there that are going to contradict that,” he added. “You don’t know how much you can protect them.”
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