Sometimes I really wish that the 32 year old me could go back and talk to 13 year old me, and let her know that everything was going to be alright. I wish I could tell her that the skills and resilience she gained in school would stand her in great stead down the road.

I wish I could show her this photo, of myself speaking at this past weekend’s Fro Fashion Week. To show her someday instead of being too shy to raise her hand and speak up in class, she would be holding a microphone and delivering a keynote speech to a room full of women.

I wish I could convince her to embrace her own beauty at an earlier age. To love herself just the way she is, and to live right in the moment.

I wish I could prove to her that time is just sand trickling through an hourglass, and that she should cherish and live in every moment before she grows up too fast.

I wish I could tell her that although being a teenager might make you feel powerless, all of those collective experiences — the pain, the laughter, the heartbreak, the angst, the embarrassing moments as well as the glorious ones — were necessary because they would someday help to make you pretty powerful.

Pretty Powerful is Bobbi Brown’s campaign to reclaim real beauty, and I find the message behind it to be so very inspiring.

“I believe that beauty comes in all ages, colors, shapes and sizes. It’s not about looking like someone else or trying to be someone you’re not. It’s about figuring out what works for you… Being Pretty Powerful is much bigger than beauty. It’s about confidence and the path you take to achieve it.” — Bobbi Brown.

That says it all right there.

For Pretty Powerful 2.0, Bobbi Brown personally chose 30 women to represent the range of beauty we come in. Visit Bobbi Brown Cosmetics to see “before” and “after” photos, video footage and interviews, testimonials, face charts and inspiring beauty images of the diverse women participating in this campaign, women like Women’s National Basketball Association star Alana Beard, model Jenny Shimuzu and broadcast journalist Mary Alice Williams.

What makes you “pretty powerful?” Is it your spirituality? Your sense of humor? Your life experiences? Share with me!

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Bobbi Brown via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Bobbi Brown.

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Sheila Oshuntuyi says:
February 6, 2012, 10:30 pm
This is so powerful, yet candid and inspirational. A lot of women & young girls (such as myself) can relate to this. I love the honesty and the "hope" it gives for the future bright women...Great piece Afrobella.
Lori says:
February 6, 2012, 11:04 pm
This is such an inspiring post. I too wish I could go back and talk to the teenage me. I always remember the words of my Dad, "If I only knew then, what I know now". I believe my power lies in the combination of my life experiences (many peaks and just as many valleys) and my resilience throughout, all the while not allowing prior baggage to dictate my present nor navigate my future. Thank you for this bit of inspiration.
Women Are Gamechangers says:
February 6, 2012, 11:27 pm
What makes me "pretty powerful" is the fact that I understand my past experiences were meant to prepare me for my purpose which I am living now.
thefabgirls says:
February 6, 2012, 11:37 pm
We are the internet’s new blog for African American tweens and teens, The Fab Girls. Female and Black=FAB! Visit us at Follow us on Twitter @thefabgirldaily! Love this! We're going to share that campaign on our site and think of other ways to let our girls know how FAB they are.
foodfashionandflow says:
February 7, 2012, 2:17 pm
Very inspiring post! I think what makes me "pretty powerful" is my tenacity. That drive to get back up,no matter how many times life knocks me down. And using all of those experiences to be a better person going forward.
pets says:
February 7, 2012, 9:30 pm
Very inspiring post - we can Make that Change - we can Believe in Ourselves - for me - my belief in God, my experiences and the love of my family have made me strong.
Tiffany Johnson says:
February 8, 2012, 12:13 am
Your testimony is a reflection of what we see in the present. Lovely words. It reminds me of my own thoughts, feelings, experiences, fears, and accomplishments. If I only knew then what I know now!!!! The beautiful thing is that if I had known I wouldnt be who I am today so I am greatful for all of it. It's the changing of attitude that I think was my hardest challenge but that to was a beautiful journey in itself. Growth is power. Thanks for making me revisit mine.
Nika says:
February 23, 2012, 1:09 am
My relationship with Jesus Christ. He is my source of strength. When I am weak, in Him I am strong. He has given me the spirit of love, power and a sound mind - through Him not only am I powerful, I am also fearfully and wonderfully made.
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