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In honor of Michelle Obama releasing the cover photo for her book “Becoming,” we took a look at quotes from other powerful women on how they became who they are.

Black Women On “Becoming” The Woman They Are Today  was originally published on

1. Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

“You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming diversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.” -Michelle Obama

2. Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks

“Self-love has very little to do with how you feel about your outer self. It’s all about accepting all of yourself.” -Tyra Banks

3. Viola Davis

Viola Davis

“I believe that the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are, truly being who you are. And I’ve spent far too long apologizing for that—my age, my color, my lack of classical beauty—that now at the age of, well, at the age of 46, I’m very proud to be Viola Davis, for whatever it’s worth.” -Viola Davis

4. Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah

“Look at people for an example. But then make sure to do things your way. Surround yourself with positive people.” -Queen Latifah

5. Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey

“As you become more clear about who you really are, you’ll be better able to decide what is best for you–the first time around.” -Oprah Winfrey

6. Gabourey Sidibe

Gabourey Sidibe

“I live my life because I dare. I dare to show up when everyone else might hide their faces and hide their bodies in shame.” -Gabourey Sidibe

7. Jada Pinkett Smith

Jada Pinkett Smith

“You’ve got to be happy in your own skin.” -Jada Pinkett Smith

8. Lena Waithe

Lena Waithe

“The things that make us different, those are our superpowers.” -Lena Waithe

9. Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington

“I didn’t grow up thinking I was pretty; there was always a prettier girl than me. So I learned to be smart and tried to be funny and develop the inside of me, because I felt like that’s what I had.” -Kerry Washington