While I was getting dressed the other day, I caught myself really staring into the mirror and appreciating the reflection. Makeup was done, clothes were on but I hadn’t put on my wig yet. It didn’t take long for me to decide that ‘she’ was staying at home. I then started to unravel my French braids, pick through my hair to form my fro. Checking myself from head to toe, I felt really good and thought damn Ri’, I love you.

Middle school and high school days weren’t the easiest. I did not want to be me; I did not want to look like Orixa. Most guys wouldn’t look twice at me because of my thin frame. I will never forget the time a guy told me he would not go out with me because I wasn’t curvy. With that in mind I started to notice what girls got more attention. Hashtags were nonexistent but #teamlightskin was winning, and if you had long hair that was a plus. For a while I tried to mimic what I was seeing to make up for what I thought I was lacking. Hair, clothes, walk, talk, you name it. It wasn’t until I started experiencing life and learning more about myself that I came to love who I am as a person.

Accepting my strengths, my weaknesses and my truth is where I found my power. I’m like, wow here’s this amazing individual with a killer personality, gigantic heart, charming soul AND she can put an outfit together? I’m in love. Ha, I’m just kidding…ok I’m not.

Overall, true beauty comes from within the heart and soul of a person. When someone has a beautiful soul, their very presence can be sensed by others who are naturally touched by them, without even knowing why. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with wanting to look good. We all do something for beauty. However, it is subjective and can’t be matched by what’s inside. So love yourself from the core. Who cares if you don’t appeal to everyone. It’s not your job to please the world. As long as you know who you are, everything else becomes irrelevant. Believe me, I am living proof.

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