If you keep up with any type of reality show then you are probably familiar with Preachers of LA, and if you watch it then you know the name Myesha Chaney, wife to Pastor Wayne Cheney and First Lady of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Long Beach. Mrs. Chaney has more under her belt besides being a First Lady. She is also a philanthropist, author, and singer. Her book Hiding Behind The Lipstick (HBTL) is also a tour where she travels to different cities where she challenges women to reflect on who they really are and what they present to the world. If change is needed in a personal life, though process and relationship with God, this experience is perfect for any woman.
Hiding Behind The Lipstick is truly a breath of fresh air bringing a unique combination of praise & worship, poetry, expressive dance, and a powerful message. This revolutionary concept has changed the way women think, feel, and live life. It is absolutely amazing in form, presentation and spirit.
In addition to the HBTL, Chaney is also a singer. She has been singing for years, but decided to take it seriously in her 20s. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Myesha where she went more in depth to what HBTL is, her inspirations in music, and what she advises to young women who are still hiding behind their lipstick.
What inspired you to start the Hiding Behind The Lipstick tour?
Women desire to be accepted for who they are. However, many of us are afraid of showing our true selves. In a society that praises beauty, accomplishment, and wealth, it seems we will never be good enough unless we appear to “have it all.” So we Hide Behind The Lip Stick and we are not being everything that we should be or who we really are. We are just fakim’ and shakin’ it. I delivered this message at a women’s retreat and it was so impactful that it changed all of our lives.
I know that you tour to different cities promoting it, what has been your favorite city and why?
Dallas was amazing! The ministry that we were able to accomplish there was very impactful. I also had a great time in Florida and Detroit as well, so it’s hard to pick a favorite. Each city had many memorable parts because the women in each one are so unique, but I think Dallas, overall, was a big highlight last year.
Do you have any upcoming tours coming up?
We will be in Jersey next week and there will be several [tours] throughout the year in Arizona, Louisiana, Florida, Oakland…there’s quite a few of that we have in the pipeline.
Do you feel that media has a negative impact on our young women, especially our young women of color? If so, what impacts do you see and how can we as a community change that?
I think that we tend to become what we see, so the media does affect us, especially young women who conform to an image that is glorified and platformed. However, there is always a way around that. There are Faith based programs, as well as more of a trend towards positive images. God is very unique and He will rise up women that are showing younger women that they can still look good and be fashionable without missing a beat [while still sticking to who they are].
You also do music, how long have you been singing?
I have probably been singing my entire life. I don’t have a memory of me not singing, but I started to really get serious about it professionally in my 20s from church. I would sing every Sunday at my church, and I finally was able to to get over my insecurities and get into a place where I realized that this was my God-given gift and I need to use it.
Do you have any projects that you are currently working on (as far as music is concerned)?
I actually am! We’re working on an EP for Hiding Behind The Lipstick, which will be music that accompanies the movement that women can relate and connect to. They can also feel healed at the same time.
Who are some of your inspirations in music?
I love some of the new artists as well as the [veteran] artists, such as Yolanda Adams, Anthony Henson, and Aretha Franklin. For the new generation I love Mali Music and what he is doing and Lecrae. I’m pretty well versed in my tastes.
Who would you like to work in the studio with?
You know what somebody asked me that the other day…I love Tasha Cobb. I love her as a worshiper, and I would love to do a song with her, as well as Shania Wilson, she is a phenomenal woman. [I would also love to work with] Kirk Franklin, you can’t sing Christian or Gospel music and not work with Kirk!
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I love to relax and go to the spa…
What advice do you have for young women who want to express themselves as far as style is concerned, but feel that they have to abide by certain strict religious norms that they grew up with?
I think that our Faith provides us with a safe foundation and perimeter, but I think that it is important for women to know that God is calling us to step outside of the box. Sometimes what we’ve done in the past worked because of the time period, but now we have to find a way to keep our Godly hood, keep who we are, but still venture out into the places that people feel are unsafe. That’s the only way to innovate. If everything remained the same and we read the same script, then no one would see the movie that God has given us. So I encourage women to go as far as they can and to allow their spirituality to be that leap that keeps them anchored, but not so much that it paralyzes them from moving forward. The Holy Spirit will be that invisible gate that will tell you if you’re going too far and will tell you to come back a bit.
Is there anything that you feel the readers should know before we wrap up the conversation?
They can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. I love to talk to young women about their purpose and to let them know that no matter who you are or where you are in life, God is not finished and as long as He is still writing your story there is still more life to live and it should be lived to the fullest. I am a firm believer in that and I am living it. I want them to also be encouraged to do the same.
Connect with Myesha: