Kerry Washington: ‘I Didn’t Grow Up Thinking I Was Pretty’

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Apparently, Kerry Washington didn’t always believe that she’s the ***flawless and ethereal creature that we know her to be today.

In her latest interview with Marie Claire, which was conducted by none other than Girls creator Lena Dunham, the Scandal star opens up about growing up believing she wasn’t as pretty as the other girls around her. Though Dunham gushes about Washington being her “girl crush” and how wonderful the actress is in gifting her “chocolate and a candle that smelled like alpine heaven” during their encounter, Washington says it hasn’t always been easy being, well, this awesome.

“I didn’t grow up thinking I was pretty; there was always a prettier girl than me. So I learned to be smart and tried to be funny and develop the inside of me, because I felt like that’s what I had,” she says, adding that it also took her some time to get into her fashionista groove. “I just put myself in a boot camp of figuring it out — and realized that I really loved it. I guess because I came to it later in life, I realized, ‘Oh, going to a fashion show is like going to the opening of Degas at the Met or going to see Swan Lake.'”

According the 38-year-old, she hopes her daughter, Isabelle, will not have to struggle with accepting herself.

“I just want [her] to know that she’s heard. Really heard, because I feel like that is what we all really want,” Washington shares. “When I think about any of the missteps in my life that I’ve made, all of which I’m grateful for, it’s because I just so wanted to be truly seen and heard for who I am and was afraid I wasn’t or wouldn’t be. I see you, I hear you, I’m with you as you are.”

The notoriously private mama also explains why she has chosen to keep her child from the spotlight for the time being, saying, “Earlier in my career I was much more super-sharey. There were moments when I wanted to process things that were happening to me more privately, and I didn’t have the space to do it, because once you let people in, they’re in and you don’t get to say, ‘Oh, I want this for myself.'”