Solange Knowles Letter-to-Self is Black Girl Magic
BY: CHASYN CARTER
Solange Knowles wrote to her teenage self for Teen Vouge, and it is what every teenage black girl needs. In her letter, Knowles speaks to her younger self about her current and future triumphs and strife voice filled with encouragement, love, and realness. While some of the things touched in the letter are personal to the writer like “the dance-is-life (aka “this leotard is my second skin”) phase”, many of the things Knowles says to her younger self should be gifted to every young black girl and wrapped in love and upliftment.
She begins her letter: “there will be fear. a lot of it. there will be triumph. a lot of it. there will be constellations you want to reach for but can’t put your finger on. you will trace them like the scars on your body you got from trouble and the times of your life. you will take the long way to get to these Orions. the long way will become a theme in your life, but a journey you learn to love.”
Knowles continues on to basically tell her younger self to trust her process in growing up. She notes how the many different experiences and certain pillars helped her to become the woman she is today. Knowles also speaks on dealing with low points in time and asking for help to get through. “Sometimes in the midst of juggling all this, you put a lot of pressure on yourself and often crash and burn. you shut down. you go into your room, lock the door, put on music, and you do not move for 8 hours straight. it will feel like the heaviest and bleakest darkness you can possibly feel, and when you ask everyone to leave you alone and let you be, what you really want to say is “I want you here” and “I need help.” sometimes it is ok to say just that. it won’t make you less strong or less powerful. no one you love will criticize you or blame you; in fact, they will lift you up”.
Often times, black girls observe and learn independence from a young age and don’t know how to reach out. Solange Knowles is telling her younger self something that we all should hear as young, growing women: it’s okay to not be okay; it’s okay to need help and ask for it. Other pivotal lessons found in this ‘Letter to self’ are:
– Your phases help you become who you are
– Thank and treasure your role models
and lastly, most importantly:
– Trust your process.
“There will be pain, there will be doubt there will be beauty, there will be the unknown. there will be so many moments of joy and delight that the whole universe will feel painted in hues of amber and wonder. there will be times you are so sad you can’t lift your head. and there will be times you are so happy that the sensation of life knocks you down. but most importantly, there will be you. a whole, whole lot of it. and you will feel good about who she is and who she is still becoming.”
Solange Knowles Letter to Self is a gem and should be gifted to all teenage black girls and inspire us to write our own letters to our younger selves.
See the Teen Vouge article and photos here http://www.teenvogue.com/story/solange-knowles-letter-to-teenage-self-cover-story-music-issue