Welcome to NYLON's Election Diaries, a new series of political op-eds. Leading up to the 2020 presidential election, we're asking some of our favorite voices in music, fashion, and pop culture to write down their thoughts leading up to this monumental day, including their hopes, fears, and everything in between. Today, ahead of their partnership with Victoria's Secret Pink's I Am Enough campaign tackling mental health, Chloe x Halle talk about staying hopeful for the future.
Halle: We are both feeling very hopeful. With everything that 2020 has brought upon us all, it's definitely been a year of change, a year of a transition for us, all kind of figuring out our way. Whether it's from learning how to navigate life in this pandemic, or just figuring out yourself and your own thoughts while being home with yourself more, and from everything going on from the Black Lives Matter movement, which is so very important to us. To everybody trying to navigate their new normal of life in this pandemic, it's a lot that we have on our shoulders. But I feel, especially being a part of this generation, we are so inspired for change. We want to bring about so much change and we want to help our future. And we know that we have the power in our hands, and we know that at times where it feels discouraging and sometimes what we do doesn't mean anything.
We have to snap out of that feeling. We have to realize that the more we come together to make a change and to use our voices, the more that we will see the results that we want.
Chloe: Right now my main concern is just voting and hoping that all of our peers and everyone around our age range is going out to vote as well, whether it's mailing or standing at the polls. It's just scary how we know how voter suppression is going on in this day and age, and how everything is being done so that it won't go in the majority of the American people's favor. But I'm feeling hopeful at the same time. Hopeful that, despite all the challenges, we all make it to the polls and let our voices truly be heard.
Our parents have always taught us to be independent thinkers and to be very vocal about living the lives we want to live. Within doing that, our lives are determined by the people who are in office. Even when we were little girls, whenever our parents would watch the debates, we would be right there watching with them. And these debates honestly have been... it has been such a roller-coaster watching them. After the first presidential debate, I was in tears, literally, because it almost felt as if we were watching a reality TV show reunion. It really broke my heart to see how the leader of this country could act that way. It kind of motivated me even more to want to vote, and realize that even right now, I feel helpless at times. I know there's so many kids our age who feel helpless and feel like, “Well, if I even vote, is anything really going to change for me?” I can sympathize with that and understand that. But the first step is actually voting and getting who's currently in office right now out. And we just got to keep progressing and move on from there.
Halle: I feel as though changes that I want to be seen are kind of things that I have wanted to be changed for a long time, that still haven't been changed. This will be my first time voting, and I'm very excited. Definitely the main thing for me is finding solutions for my brothers and sisters, for our Black lives, and just how living our normal life shouldn't be a death sentence and figuring out solutions for that. That's kind of the main one for me that sticks out because when I have children and I bring life into this world, I want them to come into a world that doesn't judge them and they don't have to fear for their life. If they get pulled over or the people that are supposedly supposed to protect them, they don't have to fear them.
There is nothing to debate about. There is nothing to be petty about. None of that really matters if our world is in shambles.
Chloe: We are young Black women. So this isn't just something that is affecting us because it's current and it's popular in the news. We've been affected by this and we've seen even some family members affected by this in a way. I specifically remember comprehending this situation and this issue, was when Trayvon Martin passed. I remember just being so confused and not understanding, and I really still don't believe he even got justice. And even after him, so many others losing their lives, now [with] Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, it simply breaks my heart. I don't think anything has truly been done to help prevent this.
What I am happy about was that in this year, 2020, all of these people finally came together and we protested and our people marched. However, I also need to see that change in the office. Watching the debate and hearing the president not condemn white supremacy broke my heart, knowing how we kind of skirted over that. He wasn't even put to the test during the debate to even talk more about that. Furthermore, the vice president couldn't fully help that Breonna Taylor didn't receive full justice, simple things like that. [The person] who is running our office doesn't see how every human being needs to feel equal and have the same treatment as anybody else.
Right now we're in Atlanta, Georgia, but we're currently living in Los Angeles and — fires. There's [been] a point where me and my brother, we couldn't even go outside because the air quality was so bad, and knowing how not taking care of the environment for such a long time is now having such tremendous effects on how we live. It's very scary. I don't really feel like any proper steps have been done to put in place so that we can protect our environment. I just want a president who does take that seriously. There is nothing to debate about. There is nothing to be petty about. None of that really matters if our world is in shambles.
Halle: We [did VS Pink’s] I Am Enough campaign to show people that it's OK to have low moments. It's OK to not all the way be there sometimes. A lot of the times I think people who watch us or watch certain entertainers, they think that you're not real that you, because you are sort of a celebrity, have a different perspective on life and live a completely different way. I think [this campaign] was a beautiful thing to remind everyone and ourselves that we are enough and that mental health is a huge thing, especially in this pandemic right now. It's OK to not be great all the time. It's OK to feel low because you know, those times are kind of your stepping stones and help build you up.
Chloe: Music and entertaining and everything is so much fun for my sister and I, but there's also times where we want to step out of just doing stuff for ourselves. We always just want to give back and I feel like when people do that, that's how we're truly living in our purpose.
Halle: We've done a lot of stuff with Global Citizen and the U.N. and especially children — we really gravitate toward young souls and young spirits because we feel like they are the future. What will be your future leaders?
Chloe: Make sure you vote. If you are mailing in, make sure you mail it in as early as possible. There's no reason or excuse as to why it can't be counted and to just keep letting your voice be heard. You know, I know things during this time can be very discouraging, but keep your little beautiful heads up and we'll all be OK at the end of this.
As told to Steffanee Wang.