On the eve of her next movie, Little, Issa Rae retraces her journey to feeling beautiful in New Orleans.
Someone, she says, had tweeted something that made her see herself in a way that she hadn’t quite allowed herself to before. While on location in New Orleans, where her mother hails from and she’s shooting the romantic comedy The Lovebirds, she says, “In my mind I’m just like, I’ve got to lose weight. I’ve been wanting to lose weight all these years, and I’ve been basically pussyfooting. I really need to step it up. The TV show gave me an excuse. You start to become more cognizant of your appearance. But I realized the response to that changed recently. Because I was looking through tweets maybe a couple of months ago, and these girls were shading me but backhand-complimenting me about how wack I was. And one of the tweets was, ‘And that stupid bitch! If I looked like her, then I would never feel insecure.’ And I was like, What?!”
She laughs again, harder this time, at the very idea. It’s the kind of laugh that forces you to join in, even though you totally get the Twitter Thug consensus: Issa Rae is too fine to be insecure. Anymore. Folks think that a woman who rocks a smart, enviable collection of say-it-with-your-chest T-shirts and looks as good as Rae—bright smile; popping melanin; meticulous hair, whether she’s sporting a curly ponytail in a Drake music video or cornrows mixed with auburn-tinted 4C-pattern ringlets—shouldn’t ever have moments of self-doubt.
Oh? Fancy that.
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