Pop star Bebe Rexha wants you to ditch the Instagram filter

  • The 'Meant to Be' singer, who recently released the dance track 'Sacrifice', said social media creates unrealistic expectations of what people should look like 
  • The singer spoke to 'Young Post' about writing a song for BTS, her new album and what she's learned from Covid-19
Dannie Aildasani |

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Bebe Rexha wants you to remember that while famous people on Instagram may look perfect, they always have an extra edge to help them out. Photo: Warner Music/Jack Gorlin

Bebe Rexha wants you to ditch the Instagram filter.

The Meant to Be singer, who recently collaborated with Doja Cat on the single Baby, I’m Jealous, has frequently been a champion for body positivity, previously calling out the fashion designers who rejected her requests for outfits for the Grammys as she was “too big”.

“Instagram gives us such false standards of how people should look,” she told Young Post over Zoom. “It got to the point where I couldn’t remember what I looked like without a filter.

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“I use filters all the time and I love them, but I started feeling insecure if I didn’t have a filter on my face. I think it’s creating false standards and people are starting to believe this is what we really look like because if you see it every day, you’ll think, ‘What’s wrong with me? Why don’t I look like a filter?’

“I started feeling upset and weirded out because I felt like I didn’t look as good without them. If I feel this way, who knows how many other people do?”

Being part of the music industry, Rexha said she feels a lot of pressure to look perfect. “There are many super-fit and perfect pop stars out there and that’s amazing and I salute them and wish I could be like them, but I’ve always struggled with body love,” she said. “I’m a very emotional person. I’m not perfect and I feel depressed sometimes and I want to eat cake.

“People need to see that even in the [music] industry, nobody is really perfect. There’s always an extra light or Photoshop.” 

Rexha recently released a new single and music video, Sacrifice, which is influenced by early 90s dance tracks and the freestyle music she grew up with in New York City. 

She’s always been a fan of dance music, and was excited to finally put out her own dance release.

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“It’s funny because I had the entire album basically done, and it fits inside this world, and this producer I’ve been trying to write with pointed out that I had worked on these other dance songs like Hey Mama and In the Name of Love and worked with [David] Guetta and J. Balvin, but I had never done my own.”

Putting out a dance track seemed like an obvious move after that.

“I love dance music ... it’s a part of me, and he said I should go back to my roots,” she added. “I feel connected to Sacrifice because it makes me feel nostalgic about when I was little.”

Rexha’s also a fan of K-pop; she recently announced that she’s penning a song for BTS, and would love to work with TXT and Blackpink. Her favourite K-pop song? “Lucifer, by Shinee. Because I wrote it!” she says.

Rexha said fans can expect a shift in tone on her next album, which doesn't have a release date yet. Photo: Warner Music/Jack Gorlin
Fans of her music can expect a darker feeling on her next album, since many of the songs are about insecurity, fear and vulnerability. 

“I wanted to push [my music] to the left and right as much as I could soundwise,” she says.

Rexha hasn’t given a release date for her new album yet, and is spending her time during coronavirus the same way many of us have – by playing with her dog and watching TV (she says she loves cooking shows). She’s also decided to pick up the trumpet again, since she played it for eight years.

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One of the most important lessons she’s learned during the Covid-19 pandemic, and what she hopes to keep in mind when the world finally returns to normal, is the importance of self-care.

“You can really get caught up in the world, trying to do everything you can, but whether it’s work, relationships or anything in life – you have to remember to take care of yourself.”

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