Erika Jayne Talks #Pantygate & The P-Word

Photo: Noel Vasquez/Getty.
Since 2007, Erika Jayne has had nine No. 1 singles on the U.S. Billboard Dance Club chart. She’s worked with the likes of Flo Rida and Maino. Her up-tempo hits are direct descendants of the disco music that fueled nightclubs in the '70s. Latching onto this version of pop has helped Jayne reach icon status in the LGBT community, where her music is in heavy rotation. She even won the News Ally Entertainer of 2015 award. I don’t think Jayne is the type of woman anyone would expect to be a housewife. MILF? Definitely. Housewife? Eh. Jayne has a wealthy husband in the form of Tom Girardi, but that’s where the trope ends. Still, she has assumed the title as one of the newer additions to the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast. But trying to wrap Jayne up into a neat little box doesn’t work in anyone’s favor. At 45, Jayne is living a life that would turn a 21-year-old green with envy. On this season of RHOBH, she and her vagina have caused enough drama to have their own spin-off. But when pussy is one of your favorite words, these are the kinds of situations you can handle with grace. And Erika Girardi, the woman behind Erika Jayne, is nothing if not graceful. I was lucky enough to chat with her over the phone about her humble beginnings, her current grind, and going commando. Let’s address an important issue. I’ve been watching this season of RHOBH and following the fallout of #pantygate. Why do you think it’s still such a big deal to go without underwear?
"I don’t know why it’s such a big deal. I think that something that was small and innocent on my behalf got turned into something else which is disappointing... I’ve said everything I needed to say about it. I’m not quite sure what the motivation is here. I don’t understand why the punishment. It’s unfortunate, honestly, to see women go after other women like that." Are you and Dorit cool now?
"What you’re seeing now happened six months ago. Not to give away the show, but things progressed. When I watch the show now and I see the things that were said about me, it kind of reopens some old wounds. I’m not gonna lie. It’s like, 'Why would you say that?' or 'Wow, you really took that to heart and you really do feel that.' [There’s] so much I’m kept away from. All of us are. So when you see people's sit down interviews, and you see how they feel...their personal feelings in their homes you go, 'Well damn, okay. You really felt that.'" Is there anything that people are going to be shocked or surprised to see from you in this season?
"No, I don’t think you’ll be shocked. You’ll get to see me with my mother in a very human moment. You get to see me cry. Which I don’t like to do. You get to see me be a little bit more human and not so showgirl all the time. Which I think is good because a lot times people feel that when there’s a lot of weave, and there’s makeup, and there’s pumps, and there’s boobs and ass, that’s all you can be. You can’t possibly be tender or caring or sensitive or loving. They kind of just paint you with one paintbrush. They never think: This is a human. This is a daughter, a mother, a wife, a friend. You get to see my mother and I talk about some sensitive things."

I think women should live out loud. I think that we should be fearless. I think we should express ourselves. I think we should have fun.

Erika Jayne
Are you coming back for season 8 of RHOBH?
"It’s way too early. They have to ask me back. I have no idea what they’re doing casting wise. Maybe they want me back. Maybe they don’t. Who knows?" We want you back.
"I’m not playing hard to get. Those decisions aren’t really made by me. So we’ll have to see what they have to say." What do you want women to take away from your music?
"Erika Jayne is six words: fantasy, love, escape, glitz, glamour, and fun. I think women should live out loud. I think that we should be fearless. I think we should express ourselves. I think we should have fun. And I don’t think anyone should dictate to you when your best days are, or that you are too old to express yourself. You are of worth and value in your 40s, 50s, and 60s. You don’t have to stop doing what you love simply because you’re not 25. I just think that those are old ideas that need to be broken and discarded quite honestly." Do you consider yourself a feminist?
"No. I consider myself Erika. I have just been this way, but I don’t consider myself a feminist. I think [feminist] means a lot of different things to people. I think it’s a great word. And if someone were to call me a feminist I would take that as a compliment." Pussy is one of your favorite words — same. Can you tell me more about your relationship with that word?
"'Pat the puss' was something that happened organically that my team and I never gave much credence to. People saw it on the show and it kind of took off from there. I don’t think it’s a word to be afraid of. It’s not a word to be ashamed of. It’s a powerful word and it’s not something that should be hidden or for us women to be made to feel bad about. I think we need to own our bodies, own our futures, own our womanhood, and our right to be ourselves."

Where do you get inspiration for your songs?

"I get my inspiration from people around me, from the experiences that I have: travel, my friends, sometimes people I don’t know. I’m inspired by life. And I’m inspired by continuously pushing and continuously living. I just feel like there are so many great experiences in life and you have to squeeze every drop out of it. I just wake up every day with a will to create and a will to express myself." If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be?
"I never answer this question and I’m not going to answer it now. But she’s amazing and she’s my idol. That’s the clue. [laughs]" What’s next for Erika Jayne this year? Are you thinking about branching out with any other business ventures?
"I have a new song coming out, 'XXpen$ive,' which is great. We’re going to release the video, put the song out. I’ll be touring, giving shows, and supporting that. The future is kind of wide open. A lot of great things have come through Housewives... a lot of interesting meetings and phone calls and we’ll see where that leads." A little birdie thinks you’d be great in the beauty industry. And I agree, because you’re fabulous. I would definitely give you my coins.
"That just may be happening. Tell that little birdie that they were right on." You have a very fascinating personal journey story. Can you share a little bit on how you went from being a cocktail waitress to such a boss?
"Inside all of us is a boss. You just gotta go find her. That’s the truth. Everyone is capable. Everyone has the ability. A lot of it is timing. A lot of it is right place, right time. A lot of it is not giving up. A lot if it is push, dreams, following those [dreams] through, and tenacity. You can do it. It’s going to be hard. People are going to tell you no. But no matter what your goal is in life, there’s always a way. You just have to look for that way. Sometimes you have to make that way. Sometimes you have to go around people. Sometimes you may have to go through people. But there’s always a way to make it happen."

Inside all of us is a boss. You just gotta go find her. That’s the truth. Everyone is capable. Everyone has the ability.

Erika Jayne
Let’s do a rapid-fire round. What highlighter do you use?
"I’ll have to get back to you on that. I’m not doing my own makeup these days. [laughs]" Did you make a New Year’s resolution?
"My New Year’s Resolution is to eat less sugar and it’s not going well. I love sugar." Preferred superpower?
"I’d like to fly." How many people are in your entourage?
"No more than 10." What theme song would play every time you walked into a room if you had a choice?
"'The Boss.' I’m obsessed with James Brown. [Ed. Note: I’m surprised by this and tell her that my mom would be impressed.] Hell yeah. I’m inspired by James Brown." Are you still friends with Yolanda?
"Yes. I just texted her today. It’s her birthday." Do you remember the first conversation you ever had with your husband?
"I do." How’d it go?
[I must note that Erika's voice lights up a little at this topic.]
"I was waiting on him. I’m quite certain I walked up to the table and said, 'Hi, my name is Erika is there something I can bring you?' I remember lots of convos with Tom before we started dating." How long did you know him before you all started dating?
"I knew him for about a year before we started dating. And then I lived with him for a year. And on January 7 we celebrated 17 years of marriage. We’ve lived together 18 [years], been married 17. And I’ve known him 19. How about that?" Read These Stories Next:
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