Queen Latifah has always been the poster kid for powerful women. Feminism was a staple in her early music and followed her as she played a series of powerful independent female personalities throughout her career. In current years, Latifah has softened up a bit,
giving us little glimpses behind her hard exterior and incredibly personal life. In her revelations, she opened up about growing up and how she did not realize she was a girl early on. Princess Latifah was very various from some of her female hip-hop contemporaries.
While Salt-N-Pepa were being honored for their sexual liberation and spreading the groundwork for the Lil Kims and Nicki Minajs to follow, Latifah kept it classy and battled to deliver a message about unity and equality. She scored hits like women first before
leading a cast of diverse women on projects like Living Single Set It Off and finally the smash hit Girls Trip. Through it all, Latifah has always waited true to her tomboy aesthetic with sprinklings of glamour here and there on red carpets.
Latifah was newly honored at The Grio Awards over the weekend and opened up about how she developed her feeling of identity growing up in Newark, NJ. Latifah says her parents instilled tremendous pride in her as a a lady of color.
My parents raised me with the idea that Black is gorgeous. Black is gorgeous; Black is lovely. Black is OK. She says she did not realize till later in life that those values were preparing her for the world. Princess says that realizing she was a girl was a different fight for her.
As a a kid, she used to run around with her shirt off like the boys. She had to be instructed that she could not run shirtless or play sports with the guys, something she did not initially understand. Those lessons went against her sense of independence, and Latifah says she has spent her whole
life trying to maintain her freedom to be herself. Years of work have instructed her she can be in the dirt with the boys but also wear gorgeous gowns and be charming. She goes on to say that she now knows the magnificence in being herself and living honestly.