Songstress Kelly Rowland’s confession of complexion insecurities unleashed a torrent of similar admissions from other brown-skinned women. Singer Brandy, who’s starring in the sixth season of “The Game,” told EURweb she supports Rowland and commends her honesty. She also disclosed past insecurities about her appearance.
Though her mother told her she was beautiful, Brandy never believed it. “My mom used to always say, you know Brandy you have a unique beauty. You know it wasn’t the typical what you see on magazines,” she explained when asked about her personal clashes with self-esteem. “You know just having far apart eyes and having different features, you know, high cheekbones and different things you kinda have to grow into. I definitely struggled with that. I didn’t think I was you know cute for a very long time.”
Brandy conquered her negative body image when she realized beauty emanates from within. “I know it’s kinda cliche’ to say that inner beauty it comes from within,” she said. “But, it really does. When you work on yourself and when you take care of yourself and take care of your body, you grow into your beauty. You realize that no one looks like you, no one can be you, no one is you but you. And you really connect with that and embrace that.”
Women of color are constantly battling societal and cultural devaluing. We recognize its impact on Lil Kim and others who have reconstructed their faces to battle their demons. However, the general public often assumes women living in the glare of the spotlight are comfortable with their bodies.
Brandy thought Rowland was secure as well. “You would never think, cause’ I’ve known Kelly for a very, very long time and she always seem to be so…..not only confident but she was always beautiful within,” she said.
Rowland and Brandy’s confessions are reminiscent of Janet Jackson’s 2006 “The Tyra Banks Show” interview where she discussed her body image challenges.
Jackson asserted she could never be a high-fashion model as Banks is because she’s not tall or beautiful enough. This prompted Banks to ask about self-esteem, which led to an emotional confession. Jackson explained an epiphany moment she had when a close friend told her to stand in a mirror and find one thing she loved about her body. Janet Jackson, cultural icon, cried because she couldn’t identify one thing she treasured about herself.
Negative self-esteem wields its destruction on many women, especially icons. Kevin Costner discussed Whitney Houston’s doubts about her acting talents in his eulogy. He concluded by telling her she was always enough.
Most women warriors locate and embrace their inner diva when they reconcile warped perceptions of appearance and the Western world’s unrealistic and unachievable beauty ideals. Jackson learned to love her smile, if nothing else. Brandy hit her stride in adulthood and is now grateful for her platform.
“It’s great to be in a position where you can be honest and realize that you know, your light or your celebrity can be a testimony to other people to not feel like their alone,” she explained. “You know you want to be relatable and I love that about Kelly that she’s relatable and you just…feel like she’s your sister and I know my fans, they feel like I’m auntie or big sis or cousin because they feel like they can relate and that’s so important. So many of us don’t wanna feel by ourselves, like we’re the only ones going through something. Because it’s not true.”