Brandy on Being a Beauty Icon and Playing Moesha and Cinderella


Getty + Joelle Avellino

For the Condition of Black Beauty, ELLE.com chatted with six Black icons to hear how they determine Black splendor and how they see by themselves in the space—in their own terms.

Attractiveness is really within. It really is seriously the individual that you operate on every single working day, to consider to be the finest model of on your own. And it definitely reflects on the outside. It makes individuals really feel like they can relate to you—it demonstrates in your eyes, in your pores and skin, it radiates when you have truly done the function on the within. Staying Black is icing on the cake. Ot implies a unique degree of liberty and acceptance of you. And so lots of gorgeous Black men and women in this globe are so no cost in expressing themselves—they set the bar for people today like me to do the similar and adhere to in their footsteps.

I don’t think way too much about being a Black magnificence icon. I feel about being myself a lot more than something. So a lot of me expanding up was dwelling my lifetime for other folks around me. You want to stay accurate to yourself. It really is about becoming comfy in my pores and skin and expressing what’s in my heart and staying legitimate to that.

I believe braids are so attractive. It just speaks to the tradition. I obtained a perm when I was about 15 and the perm broken my hair. Which is how I was in a position to get the braids—they were a protective design. It can be a lovely expression, it really is an artwork, and it normally takes so much time for the braid artists who are performing my hair. The artwork they convey is unbelievable. I want to use them for the relaxation of my daily life. Now, people today are putting on them even additional than I’ve observed in these a extensive time. Which is these a great detail. The twist, the lock—everybody is starting up to genuinely get into the braid culture, and it IS a lifestyle.

“To be the initially Black princess with braids—it was unbelievable.”

With Moesha, I did not know at the time how essential it was and would be, but it was good to be capable to be an case in point for other younger ladies that were hoping to get into the industry and other Black women who actually didn’t see themselves on television. It all occurred so rapidly, but I remember the honor to be one of the Black women that had their individual Tv show, and also with enjoying Cinderella—it did really feel like generating record.

I was so fast paced trying to be well known, but when I glimpse again, I am like, Wow, that was this sort of an incredible time. To be the 1st Black princess with braids—it was unbelievable. I am just satisfied I was able to experience that.

brandy and whitney houston

Disney

It is really wild, seeking back now, at how a lot I was in a position to do and how I was supported. From Whitney Houston, Debra Chase—one of the executive producers who chose me to be Cinderella—and my mother. Possessing individuals examples really served me comprehend all of my desires. I was informed that I could be whatever I desired to be, and when I was myself, I bought the phone from Whitney Houston, in the middle of the working day at my home in which I grew up, to be Cinderella with my braids. It was unbelievable.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and duration.

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