Janelle Monáe Accepted the SeeHer Award in a Completely Sheer Cut-Out Gown

And announced her pronouns in the best possible way.

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From dominatrix dresses to the most voluminous tiered skirts, Janelle Monáe knows how to show up and show out when it comes to a red carpet appearance — and the 2023 Critics Choice Awards were no exception.

On Sunday night, the actress arrived on the carpet in a jaw-dropping black Vera Wang Haute Couture sheer custom gown (layered over nothing but a matching thong) that featured a turtleneck design and subtle ruching up the front and back. Two hip bone-bearing cutouts and a significant train added even more drama to the ensemble, and Monáe accessorized with nothing but a silver ear cuff and earring set to let the gown have its full moment.

The Glass Onion actress’s glam was equally as striking for the occasion, consisting of a glowy complexion and sharp cat eyeliner, and black textured yarn was woven into their tight blonde braids to add a bit of extra flair.

While Monáe certainly stunned when walking the red carpet, they also graced the Critics Choice Awards’ stage to accept the seventh annual SeeHer Award, which honors one artist each year who “advocates for gender equality, portrays characters with authenticity, defies stereotypes and pushes boundaries.” 

After clarifying that their pronouns are “she/her, they/them, and free-ass motherfucker,” the actress opened up about what the award means to them. “I try to make an effort in my work ... to highlight the ones who have been pushed to the margins of society, who've been outcast or relegated to 'the other,'” she shared. “And it's personal because I am non-binary, I am queer, and my identity influences my decisions and my work.”

They continued, “There were so many times in my life, y'all, where I did not see me. I couldn't see my light. I couldn't see past my circumstances. If you know my story … I didn't see the vision clearly for myself. I couldn't see my gift. I couldn't see what my purpose was supposed to be at that time. But thank you, God, so many other people did. They didn't give up on me, and they gave me opportunities despite my own lack of confidence. I was fakin' it till I made it.”

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