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Sheryl Lee Ralph stands up for her younger self — and the beauty of all Black women.

Elizabeth Wellington, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Fashion Daily News

Sheryl Lee Ralph reminded Black girls — and many grown Black women — of our natural beauty on the Golden Globes red carpet last week.

When an InStyle reporter asked Ralph, who was phenomenally dressed in a purple sleeveless gown by African American designer Jason Rembert for Aliétte, what she would tell her 15-year-old self, Ralph dropped these gems:

“There is nothing wrong with your nose,” said the "Abbott Elementary School" star, who was nominated for the Golden Globe for best supporting actress in a comedy or television show. She spoke in the cadence of a reverend at the beginning of a sermon. “There is nothing wrong with the shade of your skin. There is nothing wrong with the way your hair grows out of your head.”

But this was a kicker: “There is certainly nothing wrong with your lips. Because there will be some people called [the] Kardashians and they will pay $10,000 for your lips. Hang in there 15-year-old Sheryl Lee Ralph, you are good.”

My 15-year-old self needed to hear this, too.


Heck, my 40-something-year-old self needs to hear it right now.

Even with all the Black girl magic affirmations and the power of the girlfriend clique, this basic message of self-acceptance gets lost in the sauce. So, as we embark on our annual new-year-new-you January rituals, thank you Ms. Ralph for reminding Black women that our natural beauty is appropriate for every occasion.

She’s the auntie we didn’t know we needed, but glad we have.

What would you tell your 15-year-old self?

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