Monique V.


Did you consider yourself an ugly duckling in high school?:

Yes. All throughout school I thought I was ugly. I did not like my nappy hair and I hated my dark sign. Up until my first year of college, I wore makeup that was two shades lighter than my actual skin color. It is funny and sad all at the same time as I think back on it now.


When and how did you officially “swan?”:

I met women in college, particularly women of color, in all different shapes, sizes and colors. And they loved who they were and embraced their differing looks with full force. By senior year I had stopped wearing make up and cut off all my hair into a very short natural. Today, I rock a lock mohawk with my business suit (still no make up) with my head held high as I strut into meetings with colleagues.


What advice would you give to the Before you?:
Today you hate your dark skin and nappy hair. Believe it or not, tomorrow you will love it. Today your closet is full of an assorted collection of foundations, lipsticks and eyeshadows. Tomorrow, putting on lipgloss will seem like a big deal. Today, you look into the mirror and struggle to love yourself. Tomorrow, you’ll look in your son’s face and see yourself and be so proud that he is the spitting image of his mother.