Adwoa Aboah has revealed in a searingly honest open letter that her childhood insecurities pushed her to a "dark breaking point" when she found success as a model.
The London-born fashion star didn't hold back in her letter, which has been published in Elle magazine.
Adwoa, who also graces the cover of the glossy publication, explained how she couldn't silence old insecurities about her worth, even when she reached the big time.
"I'd watch from the sidelines as certain friends flourished in social situations, all carefree and glowing, while I quietly hid my insecurities and internalised my shame," she explained of her school years. "I, like many others before and after me, never felt as though I fit in. I wasn't white enough, nor was I Black enough. Boys weren't into my braids, so I conformed - painfully relaxing my hair, which didn't win them over either."
Later in the essay, she wrote: "When I started receiving more attention and external validation, I hoped these superficial markers could carry me through. If I can just put on a façade and keep the messy feelings inside, I thought, they'll magically disappear. Instead, they followed me into adulthood, compounding over time and pushing me to a dark breaking point."
Adwoa, 28, is one of fashion's most in-demand models, but she admitted she didn't know how to speak up about the issues she was dealing with.
She's now hoping to inspire a new generation, and praised people's strength and resilience in the wake of a global pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement.
"You have been unapologetic and fearless leaders in the quest for equality and have stood up for the most marginalised communities, demonstrating that, indeed, All Black Lives Matter," she gushed.
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