Solange Knowles Pens Powerful Letter to Her Teenage Self

Ryan McGinley

Words of wisdom from Solange Knowles.

The 30-year-old singer pens a powerful letter to her teenage self in the June issue of Teen Vogue, opening up about overcoming personal struggle, outward resistance and learning how to trust in her talent. 

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"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, writing mostly in lowercase, begins the letter, before listing a few of her teenage phases, which included "the Bible-thumping-church-camp phase" and "the Rasta-vegan-thrifter-who-is-determined-to-marry-Brandon-Boyd phase."

Ryan McGinley

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"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," she says. "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," she adds. "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."

Ryan McGinley
Ryan McGinley

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Knowles continues by telling her teenage self to thank "the lucky stars" for three things, including that "the universe chose your mom to be your mother," describing how Tina Knowles Lawson influenced her parenting when she gave birth to her own child, son Julez, as a teenager.

"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," she concludes. "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."

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