Since her Oscar-nominated performance in “The Help,” Viola Davis has pretty much become a household name. Despite fame and success, the star opened up about her battles with self-esteem.

“I have never felt pretty,” she said during a lunch interview with Essence. 

 From The Grio:

Davis described a childhood of poverty and abuse, combined with being in the only black family in her community. People in her neighborhood used profanity to describe her to her face. She internalized these messages. “In fact, I embraced being ugly,” the actress said. But, rather than let such perceptions destroy her sense of hope (“Without hope, I would be dead,” she said), the thespian chose to work on her inner strengths.

Read more at The Grio

Davis perfected her artistic craft at The Juilliard School and is now known as one of the most accomplished living actresses.

She appears on the October issues of Essence wearing her natural hair.

The important thing to note here is that Davis never allowed her internal battles to get the best of her. Kudos to her for overcoming obstacles and embracing herself. She is beautiful.

Davis’ thoughts about herself are all too common among black women.

What can we do to show black women that they are beautiful no matter the shade, hair texture or facial features?

Sound off below!