To us, Queen Latifah, born Dana Elaine Owens, has always exuded this beautiful confidence undeterred by the unrealistic Hollywood standard of needing to be super thin to be accepted. But it turns out that it took a while for the 43-year-old rapper-turned-actress to accept herself and be happy with her body image. In her cover story for Good Housekeeping's January 2014 issue, Latifah opens up about her struggle to find happiness and battles with substance abuse to cope with her depression.
"There's probably no reason I should be here as an African-American girl from Newark," Latifah says. "And for a lot of the things I've wanted to do in life, I haven't looked typical."
"When I was around 18, I looked in the mirror and said, 'You're either going to love yourself or hate yourself.' And I decided to love myself. That changed a lot of things," she adds.
Unfortunately, her life went through a dark period after she lost her brother in a motorcycle accident and nearly lost her friend as well when they were both victims of a carjacking. She turned to alcohol to help deal with the pain and anger with God.
"Drinking a bunch of alcohol, numbing myself. Every day I would be faded, like a painting that's just not vibrant, whose edges are dull, I wasn't living my full life."
She credits therapy and her restored faith with helping her work through her issues, including being sexually abused as a child, adding, "Nobody is perfect."
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