Tiffany Grace: The Scandalous Sinterview


My Latest interview with Scandalous Women’s Magazine:  http://www.scandalouswomen.com/ 

She was the young girl who hated who she saw in the mirror, the awkward duckling who became the sexy confident swan. Silhouette Records recording artist Tiffany Grace knows what it’s like to be afraid. Growing up in an abusive environment, music was her filter and eventual savior. Now on the cusp of her second album and engaged to the man of her dreams, Ms. Grace is living the dream. She recently took time out from her busy schedule to discuss music, life and, of course, sex, with Scandalous!

SCANDALOUS: I see you’re getting married. Who is the lucky guy?

Tiffany Grace: We’ll just call him Mr. Devereaux.

SCANDALOUS: Sounds mysterious. How did you meet him?

Tiffany Grace: We actually met on E-harmony after I finally gave in to my mother’s relentless persistence on the matter. I was planning a 3 month trip through Europe to “find myself” and she was very apprehensive, I think she wanted me to find a “nice young man” and finally settle down in hopes I wouldn’t go on my trip. I met Mr. Devereaux the day after I called to cancel my subscription and was convinced to stay one more week. I actually did end up canceling my trip and moved in with my fiancé about 2 months after we met, it was pretty crazy.

SCANDALOUS: E-harmony should totally hire you as a spokesperson! So, how is he adapting being with someone with such an outwardly sexy image?

tiffany-fckng

Tiffany Grace: I think that he understands and appreciates my art. I’ve always had trouble with men in the past that were OK with it at first and then not so much once they saw me romping around with actor / model Jason E. Thomas in my music video Sleeping With The Enemy. My goal as an artist is to help woman embrace their sexuality within themselves and really get comfortable with their bodies and self image. If you notice, Jason and I never actually kissed or made any skin to skin contact. It may appear to have been so, but in fact it was just the illusion and I felt that made it much sexier. It was a last minute choice as Jason and I had practiced “the kiss” in the audition as a possibility. So, Mr. Devereaux didn’t come into the picture until after we shot the video and that might have helped! He sometimes doesn’t like to watch certain parts.

SCANDALOUS: You mentioned jokingly you’ve lost the most weight you ever have without sticking a finger down your throat. Do you have an eating disorder and can you offer advice to the young women reading this on such things?

Tiffany Grace: I am currently the healthiest I’ve ever been mind body and soul. I suffered from bulimia and anorexia for years after my father died. Women will describe the disorder as a sense of control and it is. I am 5’8 and I was 105 at my smallest. It was then that I was checked into the hospital and given an IV for dehydration. I gradually came to terms with my tarnished self image and slowly started the recovery process. It was painful steps that were taken to trick myself into eating properly again, smaller portions and lots of liquid fruit. This is going to sound crazy, but the best thing for young women to do would be mirror positive affirmations. Every day you look at yourself in the mirror and find one nice thing to say about your body. Start small; maybe “I have nice nails” or “I have nice hair” work up to looking at yourself naked and saying “My body is a perfect vessel.” After all, our physical forms are merely reflections of our mental state.

SCANDALOUS: Your last album, Naked Singularity, was very sexy and you seem to have projected a retro-image for yourself, one resembling the R&B divas of the 70s and 80s. Was that by design?

Tiffany Grace: Well, yes and no. I’ve always felt I was born in the wrong era and I’ve doted over artist from the 40s and 50s the most I think. I’ve always had what my mom likes to call “a wacky sense of style”. I think that the 70s and 80s part probably shines through from when I was a child. My influences are drawn from all over really and range from classical, blues and hip-hop. I’ve talked to some artist that won’t listen to any other music while in the writing and recording process. I’m exactly the opposite; I listen to everything I can get my hands on. I have an obsessive need to be different. I joke with my friends that in my world everyday is prom and god forbid I’m caught wearing the same outfit as another girl.

SCANDALOUS: Some of the music on that album sounds as though it came from a personal place, for example, Unbroken Soul. Have you ever had to escape an abusive relationship?

tiffany-vnrbl

Tiffany Grace: I grew up in an incredibly abusive family. All my life I resisted falling victim to the same as an adult. These things have a way of following you around when you try to suppress them instead of dealing with them head on. Abuse isn’t something that comes on right away, it’s a process that men take to slowly break you down. I was right smack in the middle of a verbally abusive relationship that gradually turned physical and ended when my EX ordered me out of his car, but purposely took off before I had fully exited, dragging me at 40 miles per hour through a graveled parking lot nearly 15 feet. Mind you, I was wearing a dress and suffered multiple wounds on my legs. I pressed charges and filed for a restraining order as all women should do. This is not a “class” issue, this happens to all women from all walks of life with varied levels of education and even privilege. It is not something to be ashamed of, it’s time to speak out on and join forces to educate on this dark matter. “Unbroken Soul” is not my favorite song, it’s written awkwardly, I’m singing while crying through most of it and it’s almost painful to listen to in many ways not just because of the content. I put it on the album despite all of this because this was my final insult. I think I knew he would hear it and that was the reason I put it on there. To say, I am not broken, you failed.

SCANDALOUS: That’s terrible. I think there are many girls who can identify with controlling boyfriends and I’m glad you took action against him. A lot of women would have been afraid to. There was also the song I Want You Both. If I interpreted the words correctly, it’s about trying to carry on a relationship with two men at once. Was this something you experienced? How did it work out?

Tiffany Grace: Who hasn’t wanted to carry on a relationship with two men at once at some point in their life? There was a time in my life when I was dating several men at once. Men do this all the time; they call it the numbers game. Only they do it in hopes that one of us will eventually sleep with them. I did it because I wanted to experience different interactions with all different kinds of men. I dated men of all kinds of nationalities, religions, wealth and walks of life. My fiance would probably wince reading that. I was young and curious, at the time I really had no idea what I wanted in a partner, so I explored. I encourage all women to go through this at some time in their lives. Give yourself options; you have to know what you don’t want to appreciate what you do when you get it. Your sexuality is your secret weapon and if you ooze sexy but hold back, you can have any one of them whenever you decide to. If you ever in fact decide to! I found once you got to know most of them, the lust wore off fast haha.

SCANDALOUS: Scandalous readers would love to know – did you have them both at the same time in the bedroom?

Tiffany Grace: Yes, if you count the fantasy that the song was written after I experienced it on my own! I never had a ménage à trois in reality, but I think I’ve always been curious about it if not brave enough the pursue it! Any girl that says it hasn’t crossed her mind is lying! The other side of the song was also referring to two men that would have been perfect if they had parts of the other. So, in a sense I literally did want them both.

SCANDALOUS: You hear stories all the time about male musicians having a virtual buffet of women groupies. Do female performers like yourself have guys falling at their feet?

Tiffany Grace: I think that men like the idea of a performer in bed, maybe it’s an ego thing. There is something very mysterious and appealing to them about women that express power and independence. On the other hand, a lot of men will try to use your art as a tool to get into your pants. They will promise you the moon and the stars. Someone once told me “never take your money outside the club, it’ll never come back”. In other words, don’t date your fans and don’t date your creative partners. To answer your questions more bluntly, you certainly have lots of opportunities. I am not sure if that’s because I’m a musician or if I’m simply put in front of men more often!

SCANDALOUS: You come across as very sexually confident. Has that always been the case? Give us a story about when you may have been a little more awkward sexually.

Tiffany Grace: I didn’t have my first kiss until I was 16, I was incredibly awkward growing up. I always joke that I’m obsessed with fashion now because when I was a kid we were too poor to buy new clothes, so now I over compensate. I was the girl that wore a t-shirt in the pool completely ashamed of my body. I actually started keeping a “boy journal” of my continuous mishaps with men over the years. I was a living breathing real life Bridget Jones. I wrote my first entry at the age of 15 and I wrote all the way up until I met my fiancé. Growing up, sex wasn’t really a loving thing; I think I felt it was more of a duty. So, I grew up kind of dreading the entire process. I think I was 22 when I finally started to come out of my shell and realize that it was meant to be pleasurable for both parties.

SCANDALOUS: What does it take for a girl like you to get her freak on?

Tiffany Grace: This is going to sound like a cop out, but I am a sucker for witty conversation. Being that I do come across very confident, I think men are a bit intimidated by that. I used to have a friend that referred to me as “a bit of a handful” when describing me to potential dates she tried to set me up on. I thought of it as a kind of game with men, and more often than not they couldn’t keep up. Sometimes, I found someone that would rise to the challenge and that was always incredibly sexy. I think like most women, I appreciate the small things. Sometimes it’s just the way that my fiancé will kiss my neck, it always gives me goosebumps and other times it’s his look from across the room that makes my knees weak.

SCANDALOUS: You’re holding back because your fiance might read this, right?

tiffany-frkon

Tiffany Grace: Well, kind of. I wasn’t sure how far to take that question, but you’re a good reporter so you didn’t let me off the hook! haha Let’s see, recently we introduced a few toys that I purchased at a little boutique in Ventura with some girlfriends from my book club. Yes, I run a book club, but we’re not your average book club. We finished reading 50 Shades Of Greyrecently which if you have not read, I highly recommend. Most of us were like rabbits after reading it, great for relationships haha! I always felt I was a little more exploratory in the bedroom, totally open to porn or handcuffs, the typical girl thing, but the book really opened a whole new world.

SCANDALOUS: Yes, it is a very good book and it was surprising American women snatched it up in the numbers they did. How did you and your club react to it?

Tiffany Grace: Well, it’s a steamy story of an innocent virgin no less that starts a relationship with an older much more sexually experienced man. I’ll be the first to admit even I didn’t know what some of the sexual devices or methods in the book were. My book club decided that we would have a get together at a local boutique to gain more knowledge on the subject. We went over everything from lube to bondage. It was really entertaining and educational! I took home the vibrating panties and a gel, I guess you’d call it masturbator, for my Fiance. He loved both of them! I think it’s important to keep things spicy. Oh, and of course I do love my little maid outfit as well! My girlfriends and I will share with each other things we’ve tried too, one of my friends said “I loved the whip we got at the boutique, you guys want to try it!?” It’s fun to keep it a light subject, sex is a beautiful thing, we shouldn’t be ashamed.

So, yeah my fiance might blush when he reads this, but then again he might mount me! A healthy relationship needs a healthy sex life. It’s true, it’s just part of the reality. Sometimes I’m even blunt with him about it, I’ll say “are we having enough sex for you?”. It’s a regular ritual for us, sure, but you know sometimes it’s good to check in. So often people do not talk about what they need/want from each other sexually. I think this is what will cause resentment and cheating, I mean if you’re not getting what you need you’re going to get it somewhere! Sex with us is amazing, I orgasm every single time, but we talk really openly about it. He’ll just ask me if I like something, or what else I might want to combine or try. I mean, how many relationships have you been in where that happens? Our chemistry in and out of bed is fantastic, largely because I think our communication is so good. Wow, I guess I did want to elaborate on that after all!

SCANDALOUS: That’s fantastic. Great advice. So, you have a new album coming out. Tell us what we can expect from it?

Tiffany Grace: On this EP, I am going to take an entirely different approach. I think that it will be a softer side that I’ve not expressed as an artist yet. I cannot escape the edge that my voice projects, but I think this will give my fans a little more insight into my world. Also, I’m going to get back to my musical spoken word a little more on this project. I didn’t include The One That Got Away on my last album as I wasn’t sure how it would be received. (You can hear and download that track free here)  The feedback I got was that fans wanted to hear more of this kind of thing, so I’m going to give it to them! Since the debut album I received lots of constructive feedback and a little bit of heart breaking feedback too! That’s how you grow as an artist, so I took that to the studio and we’ll see what kind of reaction I get.

SCANDALOUS: Thank you Tiffany and good luck with your marriage and career. We can’t wait to hear more from you.

Advertisements

Positive Mirrored Affirmations


Recently in an interview with Scandalous Woman’s magazine. I was asked what kind of advice I would offer to young women suffering from eating disorders. It’s interesting how easy the answer came to me as I’d never given any thought to this before. The concept is not mine, nor is it new, nor is it proven, I’m sure. I cannot claim credit for the idea, but I can tell you what works for me and how.

Women are under immense pressure all the time regarding their looks. My finace once asked “doesn’t it bother you having all of these fashion magazines around the house with beautiful women?” Of course, I assumed that he was suggesting I wasn’t a beautiful woman and therefore should be offended by the site, but he actually was referring to the hours of hair, makeup and airbrush that went into the unrealistic photo session. Fortunately, I have had the opportunity to experience just such a photo session and am familiar with the process. It was an eye opening experience to say the least. My makeup alone took nearly 2.5 hours and the hair, well, don’t even get me started. The photo session consisted of pinning clothes in their proper places, standing at “flattering” angles and not to mention at least 100 different photos to choose from. While I insisted on no touch ups and that the large scar on my chest from open heart surgery be left in place, they still turned out quite breathtaking. I credit a lot of that to the amazing team working on me for hours. Mind you, I was 15 pound heavier in the photos than I currently weigh now and I actually appear thinner in them! Aw, the magic of camera angles.

The point that I am drawing out in an attempt to make clear is that those women are relatively close to normal without the help of several professionals. Have you ever watched an episode of America’s Top Model? If you see the girls lounging around in their PJ’s with no make up, you’ll see what I mean. I caught myself thinking “wow, she is a model? She is so plain”. Now, please understand that the thought came from shock that models were “just like us” and not a jab at the actual model who was quite beautiful by “normal” standards.

In my younger years, I did have a brief fling with modeling. At the time I was 105 pounds and stood at nearly 5’8. The first thing that came out of the agencies mouth after signing me was “you need to take off at least 5 pounds”. She never even asked how much I weighed to begin with and given her disconnected look and mannerism when she said this I assumed it was just something that naturally came out of her mouth when signing a potential client. The words seemed to roll off her tongue as easily as an old friend saying hello. The original agent that I signed with was behind her dramatically busy with other paperwork. The woman so casually addressing me was probably a secretary or at least I assumed.

To my surprise, my reaction to this was shock. I wasn’t offended because she clearly hadn’t even looked at my body or inquired as to my weight. She wasn’t the decision maker, so my photos were not prompting this either. I actually objected and before I could pull the words back into my mouth. She looked at me with what could have been incredible rage or slight admiration at my brave and meek objection. She tilted her head to one side smiled and said “I can understand your reservations, but trust me this is a standard request that we make to every new client. Everyone can afford to take off 5 pounds and really it’s water weight”. I was given a list of food that were off limits for 2 months prior to the photo shoot. Anything that had sugar or salt was pretty much off the table with an emphasis on food and drinks that tended to bloat. I was told to drink a minimum of 10 cups of water each day.

There are a lot of behind the scenes rituals that go into place even before you step foot into that spray tan salon or the makeup chair. It’s all an illusion that is fabricated to create insecurities in young women to sell, sell, sell. Take a moment to really think this through. If you felt that you were perfect in every way, then you wouldn’t have any need for all of the expensive beauty products those magazines intend to sell. The market would suffer as a result and the magazines would cease to exist. This is a lie that we are being sold over and over again. Unfortunately, we keep buying the lie and so they keep raising the price. The price being the continued suppression of our positive self image.

For example, I recently read a statement from Vogue magazine that said they would “not knowingly work with models under the age of 16 or who appear to have an eating disorder.” Now mind you, in order to make this statement that means that they had to have actually knowingly done this in the past. I want you to think back to the age of 13 or 14, before your body grew into it’s beautiful womanly state. Think about your small breast, your perfectly smooth skin and your overall youthful appearance.  Now imagine your 13 or 14 year old self, walking up to a 40 year old woman and actually believing you would look exactly the same as you do at 13 or 14 at her age. It’s a little unrealistic isn’t it? Well, that is what you’re buying because that is what they are selling you.

Here is where the cure to the insanity comes into play. No, I am not going to ask you to give up Vogue because it’s a guilty pleasure of my own as well. I am just as addicted to the lip gloss, heels and latest fashion as the next girl. I am going to ask to you learn to love what you have already. Sure, it’s healthy to strive towards a better healthier body, if you do it correctly with proper nutrition and exercise. I am talking about the meanwhile, the screwed up diets and the constant negative chatter in your mind about your body and self image.

I once saw on youtube this great video that brought tears to my eyes. It was a curly headed blond little girl standing on top of the bathroom sink in her PJ’s yelling at herself while throwing punches and compliments equally hard. Her little voice peaking at the top of her lungs, to no one but herself  “I love my hair, I love my aunt…” and so on and so on. There were several comments on the video praising her  for her young age and already practicing positive affirmations. Her parents assured viewers that this wasn’t something that she was taught and that she simply woke up and was “having a good day”. I think the simplicity and the power of this struck me then. I was having a pretty good day myself, why hadn’t I congratulated myself on this in the mirror too?

I went to the mirror and stared at myself for five minutes straight. I did what every young woman has been programed to do and I judged the entire time. Each smile line and imperfection on my face was noted and stored away in the “things I hate about myself” file in the back of my mind. I really had to force myself to find just one thing that I liked that first time. Even after finding a small compliment it went something like this “I guess I have nice nails”. I couldn’t even give myself that minor compliment, I had to still make it an insecure statement.

As I continued this practice it was very painful for the first couple of weeks. Everyday I would get up, look in the mirror and find just one small part of my body to compliment. Eventually, I started to believe myself and it became easier. Finally I am at the point in my life where I can look at my naked body in the mirror and say “I look good!” Of course, I am still striving to be a healthier happier me, but in the meantime I am loving what I see. Our physical bodies are such a small and artificial part of our lives and yet we put so much stake into them. We treat our bodies as if they will live on forever to be continuously judged after our spirit leaves them. The truth is, that all of our bodies will end up a gruesome treat for the bugs 6 feet under with a headstone that will resemble all the rest.

No one will stand over our decaying bodies and think “wow, that face lift really held up, I’ll always remember that about her”. No, we will be remembered for our kindness and our accomplishments. So, when you’re going through your positive mirrored affirmations, keep in mind that one day you will see your body as a vessel. You will finally see it as simply a means to get you where you need to go. It will be then that you really appreciate it’s true beauty and meaning.  So, start your journey and stop your fretting!