“I was never really able to look at myself in the mirror until I began to hear God telling me I was beautiful. Suddenly, other people started telling me I was beautiful, too, because I had started believing it…”—Mary J. Blige, ESSENCE
ESSENCE readers have had a long love affair with Mary J. Blige. From the first time she came on the scene with What’s the 411?, Mary’s journey has been our journey. She’s been a lover and a fighter. A mogul and an artist. She aspires and inspires. And when the “Queen of Hip Hop” visited ESSENCE’s offices as guest editor (of her twelfth ESSENCE cover!) — she blew us away once again. Rolling up her designer sleeves, Mary got to work and left her imprint throughout the magazine on everything from fashion, relationships, money management and more. Plus, in the introspective story, “Take Me As I Am,” Miss Mary reminds readers that the woman who’s most irresistible to a man is the one who loves herself.

Be sure to check out Mary’s upcoming performance at the 2012 ESSENCE Music Festival.

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