Plenty of us probably wish we could reach out to our teenage selves, giving some words of encouragement during a turbulent time. Solange Knowles, who was famous before she was old enough to drive, probably had a more turbulent teenage life than most of us. And now she’s written a long and heartfelt letter to her teenage self, and Teen Vogue has published it. It’s a warm and assuring piece of work, and it shows some of the same nebulous self-love that you can hear on A Seat At The Table. Here’s a piece of it:
Sometimes you push these phases to the max, and when you go out into the world feeling confident in who you are and what you reflect, young folks will call you names and grown folks will call you names It’s ok. one day you will name yourself, and that name will belong to you. it will not be the ones they ordained: “crazy, ugly, attention-seeking, weirdo.”
I really hate to tell you this, but sometimes you will still get called these things as an adult, except you will actually embrace some of them. you will learn that these are just words. words that only have power if you choose to give them power. every once in a while they will hurt, but you will choose to turn those words into a symbol of beauty.
Solange also writes about learning to appreciate her mother, about losing a best friend to gun violence and becoming a mother at 17, and about the time when she wanted to marry Brandon Boyd from Incubus. You can read it at Teen Vogue.
This article originally appeared on Stereogum.
PHOTO: Ryan McGinley