It’s pretty hard to overshadow Kanye West, but that’s exactly what Teyana Taylor did at the 2016 MTV Music Video Awards. When Kanye debuted his video for “Fade,” Taylor stole the show as the video’s impressively toned star.
As a recording artist, Taylor has four albums under her belt. As a dancer, she was a prodigy; she choreographed Beyoncé’s “Ring the Alarm” video when she was only 16. She’s also the mother of Junie, age one, with basketball star Iman Shumpert. The Cut spoke with her at a KISS beauty party about health, fitness, and her list of favorite junk foods.
How I start my day: Junie is the boss, so whenever the baby wakes up is when I wake up. Sometimes I try to stay asleep, but she’ll roll over me, sit on my head, and then kiss me. Then we go downstairs, where she wants junk food. I’m like, “Girl, eat some cereal, Crunch Berries, something else.” So she’ll set up some Crunch Berries, and then we’ll do bacon because she loves bacon. It sounds weird, bacon and Crunch Berries, but we don’t eat them together! We’ll eat the Crunch Berries, then the bacon.
What wellness means to me: Wellness sounds like some healthy shit. I eat any and everything. A person who doesn’t know me would be like, [Valley Girl voice] “Oh my god, that’s so bad for you!” So I don’t know what wellness is and I ain’t getting in the middle of it.
How I like to sweat: I dance. I have a dance fitness program called Fade2Fit, where we do live videos of us dancing. We combine dancing and exercise to make it fun and release pressure. You’ll see results in a week. I do it every day, and I have to choreograph it every day. I haven’t had any complaints yet, so I’m happy about that.
Some people feel intimidated when they walk in the gym. Some people don’t even want to leave the house. I wanted to make something where you don’t have to leave the house to get a workout and feel good.
My thoughts on meditation: No such thing as meditation when you got kids.
My approach to nutrition: I love flavors; I don’t like textures. It’s hard to take down a vegetable without hearing that crunch. No matter how much I try, eating vegetables is really hard. My father-in-law is the chef for me and my husband, and he makes these fruit and vegetable smoothies to help me. That’s my way of getting in my healthy shit without physically having to chomp it down, which would make me gag.
The sort of junk food that I tend to eat: Sort? That’s all I have.
My favorite junk food: I love the purple bag of Skittles. I like powdered donuts by Hostess. I like Honey Buns by Little Debbie. I love Hot Cheetos. Cheetos Puffs. I love sour Starbursts. Oreos — the golden Oreos. I love pickles a lot, but I hate relish. That’s crazy.
My wellness struggle is: People see me and think that I have the most perfect body, but they don’t realize that I have struggled just like they do. If I lift up a weight, I automatically get super strong. That’s why I get intimidated and stay away from the gym — I’m already naturally so strong that if I were to work out I would look like a bodybuilder. Sometimes I can even photograph a little bit harsh. Some people will be like, “Oh girl, stop!” But everybody has their own personal struggles, and when I want to gain weight, it’s hard.
Teyana’s Wellness Recommendation:
This interview has been edited and condensed.
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