Kelly Rowland has come a long way. She first hit the scene in the 90s as a teen, singing poppy R&B songs with her Destiny’s Child groupmates. Today, the 30-year-old has a sexy solo album that’s climbing the charts. But the singer hasn’t always been so confident about her appeal. In her interview with Runway (see her on the cover here), she revealed that she disliked her skin color when she was younger: “There’s so much peer pressure growing up, I had an identity crisis. I went to a predominantly white school and I was the only black girl,” she said. “I can remember thinking: ‘I don’t want to be as dark as I am—I want to be a little fairer.’ I didn’t want to be me.” Rowland reveals that BFF Beyoncé’s mom helped her get beyond her issues. “Tina sat me in front of the mirror and said: ‘Girl, look at how pretty you are.’ She made me feel comfortable in my own skin.”
Rowland has spoken about her journey toward high self esteem before. When she guest edited on Essence.com in June, she shared: “It took a long while for me to know that I’m beautiful. I remember going through this phase when I was younger of wanting to pass by mirrors and not look at them. That was so ridiculous. I’ve learned now that beauty starts from within. If you don't know your worth, if you don’t know your value, if you don’t know how fantabulous you are—it’s going to be hard for other people to see it. Being appreciative of self is beauty to me.”
The full story appears in the Fall 2011 issue of Runway, which is on newsstands now.