One musical that deeply influenced me - and continues to do so - is the 1997 ABC TV movie of Rodgers and Hammerstein's 'Cinderella,' starring Brandy, with Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother and Whoopi Goldberg as the prince's mom.
We need space to discuss unspoken, uncomfortable dark truths.
Our culture often demeans and devalues the work, the pleasures, and the contributions of women and feminine people. This is, in part, why beauty culture is dismissed as unimportant and frivolous.
Throughout elementary and middle school, I was used to hearing other words: Smart. Studious. Well-spoken. Well-read. They became pillars of my self-confidence, enabling me to build myself up on what I contributed rather than what I looked like.
There's nothing more mundane than sitting across from a celebrity in a sterile gray conference room. But when the star sitting across from you is Taraji Penda Henson, you are being treated to a master class in the art of the hustle.
By the time I was a sophomore in high school, it had become routine for me to be sent home for wearing dresses. My mere presence in a skirt became an act of protest that would get me called out of class and into the vice principal's office.