Little Simz says she has always made a point to not dress for the male gaze

British rapper Little Simz has said she has always made a point to not “appeal to the male gaze” in terms of how she dresses.

The Mercury Prize winner, who will perform on Glastonbury Festival’s Pyramid Stage for the first time in June, said she wants young girls to know “that there’s options” when it comes to what to wear.

Speaking to Elle UK for its June issue, the artist, real name Simbiatu Ajikawo, said: “It was always the same situation, ‘Yeah, this is cool, but this is what’s selling’ – which was less clothing.

The Brit Awards 2024 – Arrivals – London
Little Simz attending the Brit Awards 2024 (Ian West/PA)

“I want to ensure that young girls who are like me – a bit quirky, a bit tomboyish – can see me.

“But also, I can fling on a dress and make it look sick. I want them to know that there’s options.”

The London-born musician reflected on what it is to be a role model and said that she wants to make young people feel like their dreams are within reach.

“Allowing people to see me on the ground is super important, because I want people to feel like it’s in reach; I’m in reach; your dreams are in reach,” she said.

Mercury Prize 2022 – London
Little Simz accepting the Mercury Prize 2022 (Ian West/PA)

“I hope an experience like that might stay with a young person: I’m there, with them in this youth club, and tomorrow I might be walking the catwalk.

“I want people to see me and say, ‘Yeah, I could be doing that.’

“I’ll do what’s necessary for there to be good change but, I don’t know, I still have this stance of being young and feeling like (politicians) aren’t doing anything for me.

“But, ultimately, it’s about the next generation, so I’ll do what I can to help.

Elle UK front cover
The June issue of Elle UK is on sale from May 9 (Elle UK/Ekua King)

“I think kids are just mad anxious. And I think social media plays a part in that so I would start with the mental wellbeing of young people.

“I would love to see that taught in schools. Journaling. Meditation. Small practices like that can go a long way.”

Little Simz’s studio album, Sometimes I Might Be Introvert, scooped the 2022 Mercury Prize and that same year she was named Best New Artist at the Brit Awards.

The June issue of Elle UK is on sale from May 9.

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