Born to a blue collar family in the impoverished Wyandotte County, Kansas, Janelle Monae says she was instilled with a strong work ethic from her family. To this day, in honour of her mother, a former janitor, her father, a trash man, she wears a uniform just as they did. The singer has stated she will not bow to industry preferences when it comes to choosing her outfits, but prefers to opt for a simple black suit.
She commented “there are no women who perform fully clothed - still to this day there aren't. To me, that was a problem, to say 'If you want to be in the music industry, you need to be able to sell sex' ... I want to be in control of my body. I don't ever want a man or a woman to tell me to dress that way. I think it’s up to me.”
The Tightrope singer added “if I have to think about my outfit for longer than, like, two minutes, I've wasted my time. Who wants to think about, 'What am I going to wear to this performance?” I need to be focusing on creating, changing the world” in an interview with magazine Marie Claire.