This week, ESSENCE kicks off our #DareToBeYOU campaign. This initiative extends from the “Dare to Be You” feature in the October beauty issue, celebrating the unique beauty of real women. Each day, we will share stories from our readers who are living life fearlessly. To join in on the campaign, click here. 

Many women have the same attributes, talents, style and flare, but there’s always something that makes each of us stand out and sets us apart from the rest! I have had bright red hair for over a decade, and as a result, I have been changing how women look at themselves by simply being me. People say to me all the time, “I have never seen someone wear bright red hair so gracefully!” I tell them it’s not my hair color or my makeup that makes me different, it’s actually my strength, confidence and my “daring” choice to be me on the inside that attracts people to me. It encourages them to stand out with confidence.

Another amazing thing about me is that God resides in me so not only am I daring to be me, but at the end of the day I dare to be like Him. That’s what makes me truly beautiful! I have been through some horrible situations in my life and have still maintained my sanity, dignity and integrity. That’s never easy to do when facing major oppositions in life, but through struggles and trials I’ve learned that consistency wins! Beauty truly resides inside and exudes to the outer parts of us.

Daring to be me is simply being me! I’m so happy being me! Thank you ESSENCE for this space.