Queen Latifah says ‘I didn’t know I was a girl, initially I had to be told’ while talking about finding the ‘freedom’ to be herself
Queen Latifah gets candid about the life experiences that made her the woman she is today.
In an acceptance speech at the inaugural TheGrio Awards in Beverly Hills, the iconic actress opened up about how her sense of identity has evolved over the years.
Queen Latifah (born Dana Elaine Owens) shared with the audience:
“For me, it all starts with the family. My parents raised me with the idea that Black is beautiful. Black is beautiful, black is beautiful. Black is OK. You start saying it enough and you start believing me. And so I didn’t realize at the time that what they were preparing me for was a whole world.
The Equalizer star also reflected on when she realized she was a girl and that boys and girls played by different rules.
“I didn’t know I was a girl, at the start, someone had to tell me. I had to explain to myself…. Because I was running everywhere without a T-shirt like the boys… I wanted to play sports and all these things had to be explained to me because I was free. And so my whole life would feel like I tried to maintain my freedom to be myself.
Now she knows exactly who she is. Queen Latifah Explain,
“I wear these beautiful dresses and gowns because I want to, because it’s part of me. I play in the dirt, I play basketball with the boys – because that’s me. I love who I love because it’s me. I know myself. I know what I did and what I didn’t do. »
“I realize that life is fleeting and you have to do your best. Be as honest and sincere as possible. Don’t trust what people try to tell you about yourself. It’s not I said, don’t go looking for what people are trying to tell you about yourself.
In a previous interview, the 52-year-old actress opened up about understanding the difference between health and body size. She revealed that throughout her career, she learned to defend herself in the workplace when their health is not necessarily a priority for others.
Queen Latifah noted that she is not shy about adjusting her weight for a role when necessary, but has no interest in compromising her health for a specific role “see.” She explained:
“Health is most important to me. It’s not about losing or gaining weight. When I want to lose or gain weight, I know how to do it in a healthy way. So if I have to doing something that’s going to be completely unhealthy for me, then that’s not the job for me. Someone else should have that job that already exists… It’s called No.
“I practice my no. I go in the mirror and say, no, no, no, no, like 20 times. And that’s all. I have to agree with me. If I’m fine, I feel like I can do anything. But if I’m not well, I have to say something. Like, time to pause, stop, cut.
Byron Allen Presents TheGrio Awards airs Saturday (November 26) on CBS starting at 8 p.m. ET and will be available to stream live on Paramount+.
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