As far back as I can recall, I always wanted to be pretty.

I know that sounds really shallow, but this is a safe space, right?

Great!

So as I was saying, my greatest goal in life as a little girl was to grow up to be pretty.  I knew this wasn’t an acceptable life goal, so when adults would ask that obligatory question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I knew to rattle off the standard respectable answers that Black children are supposed to recite.

With great sincerity, I would say, “I want to be a physician or a veterinarian. I would like to do both, but we’ll see.” And while my mom would beam with pride over her ambitious little girl, I knew the whole time that was a bunch of bull. Truthfully, I never really knew with certainty and commitment the specific career I wanted. What I knew for sure was that I wanted to be wealthy, successful at something, and most of all, I wanted to be pretty.

What brought about this burning desire?

For the full story, visit Essence.com/Beauty.

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