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“You can’t eat beauty. It doesn’t feed you.” These are the words of Lupita Nyong’o, the first black African woman to win an Academy award for her role in the movie, 12 Years a Slave. She speaks these lines at Essence Magazine’s annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon as she recalls her mother telling her this one line as a child. She desperately wanted to change her complexion so she could feel more beautiful and love herself more. But, what she came to realize was that “beauty was not a thing I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be.”

To just be is so hard for many of us in a world that rather we just be like everyone else and just be like the beauty standards set forth by society and the media. But what we all so deeply desire is the kind of beauty actress Ruby Dee speaks of here:

‘The kind of beauty I want most is the hard-to-get kind that comes from within – strength, courage, dignity.’

The first step to getting that kind of beauty that Lupita so desperately seeked for and that Ruby seeks of is to BELIEVE and give yourself PERMISSION to fall in LOVE!

To fall in love with yourself. So often we are trying to find a man or partner to fall in love with us so we can take the pressure of ourselves to do the inner work necessary to make it happen. So often we turn to the media to see who we should look like and what is “defined” as beautiful that we must emulate. So often we internalize the name calling, jokes, stereotypes, and generalizations that are placed on us from childhood into adulthood that we never asked for yet have adopted as law in our minds. So often we get sucked into the vacuum of thinking material things are going to outshine the thoughts and feelings inside we hold for ourselves in our mind.

But the TRUTH is everybody can smell, see, and feel low value oozing from your pores. No amount of make-up, Michael Kors bags, or even having a low caliber man in your life (that is just there but not really giving you want you want or deserve) is going to change how you feel about yourself on the inside.

Lupita Nyong’o’s flawless beauty and ability to glow and be regal, confident, and magnetic NOW unlike when she was a teenager praying to GOD to be lighter to be beautiful is the fact that she recognizes her VALUE. She recognizes her BEAUTY. She recognizes that everything she already was, was everything she already needed to slay and rock the world! Just look for yourself…she literally slays every dang on color of the rainbow and looks flawless…but that is that “hard to find kind of beauty” radiating from deep inside of her….

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She recognized that to be FLAWLESS (in the Beyonce sense of the word) meant that you she had to accept the fact that she is PERFECTLY NORMAL! There is nothing to SHAME about her beauty in particular BLACK BEAUTY! There was never any shame in it, but she just had to realize that as a fact!

How do you own your beauty, flaws and all without guilt, shame, or desperation of changing who you are?

You need to break up with your fears, cut off people who no longer serve you or your needs, dump your “negative self-talk”, get rid of men in your life who are not capable of loving you the way you want, let go of doing so dang on much for others that you forget to do for yourself, and you need to….

Commit to marrying yourself! Not dating yourself (because that is only temporary) but marrying yourself because that is FOREVER! Marriage is a serious vow you make with another whom you love under the oath of a higher power you believe in. Through those vows you agree to be with that person through sickness and in health, to death do you part. You absolutely positively fall in love with that person, cater to that person, do nice things for that person, get sexy for that person, and the list continues! You do whatever it takes to make that marriage work , even when it might feel like it is falling apart. You fight for it because you love them and you made a vow.

You, gorgeous, are no DIFFERENT. If you want to own your beauty, confidence, and power as a woman you must do whatever it takes to make it work every single day. If you fail to put in the work, then it will fail. If you want to OWN your beauty and OWN how you feel about yourself and glow like a regal, confident, and magnetic queen you have to MARRY yourself and make a VOW to you that you will be in love and hold yourself down through thick and through thin FOREVER!

Here are 3 ways to OWN your BEAUTY and MARRY yourself:

1.  Buy yourself a very NICE ring, necklace, or bracelet that will be a symbol of your love, appreciation, and commitment to yourself. In the moments when you feel less that flawless, look at it to remind you of the love you have for yourself!

2. Dress up in your BEST clothes that make you feel AMAZING! Take as many selfies as you can of yourself (or do a professional photo shoot if you prefer) and take the best shot from there and make that your cell phone screen saver. Look at her (you) everyday, kiss the screen, and tell her (you) how in love you are with her. Make this a habit. (If you’re wondering…is it selfish or vain… HELL NO…it’s called Self-LOVE and us women struggle with that because it isn’t about anyone else but US. This is for you. You do what you have to do so you can live a life you DESERVE to live)

3. Write a LOVE NOTE to yourself on the best paper you can find. Make it a project and do it on a large poster board, a heart cut out, or even paint it or do it in pastel. Make it regal, divine, and EPIC! Write yourself a note in which you give yourself sincere praise, boatloads of compliments, lines full of appreciation, comments on the qualities that make you unique and lovable, sentences of full of everything you like and love about you, shout outs for all the things you have gotten RIGHT in your life and have accomplished thus far. POST this in a highly visible place. FRAME IT! Make it your computer or Ipad screen saver. Look at it everyday! Read it as often as you possible can and mostly importantly read it, and then be STILL and KNOW…that you are ALL THAT!

I Want to Know:

  • Do you want this kind of beauty?
  • Did you try any of these suggestions? How did they work? Can you suggest another one you have tried before?
  • Why do you think it is so hard for women to own their beauty and rock it?

Regal Resource: Lupita’s Speech at Essence’s Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon