Davis’ Wise Words

How to Get Away With Murder star Viola Davis didn’t get to be as successful as she is today without learning how to believe in herself. And according to ELLE, the actress wants other women to learn to do the same.

In between discussing her beauty routine, Davis shared with ELLE the advice she gives to her 5-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Genesis.

“The biggest beauty advice I’ve given her is every morning I say, ‘Genesis, what are the two best parts of you?’ And she says ‘my brain and my heart.’ And I say, ‘You’ve gotta remember that, Genesis,” she shared. “‘You’ve gotta remember that you’re not what you look like,’ you know? I think that’s the best beauty advice I could give her.”

The 50-year-old actress, who renewed her wedding vows this year with her husband of 13 years Julius Tennon on Valentine’s Day, also told ELLE about fellow actress Meryl Streep’s advice to her after her vow renewal. “‘Now that you’ve just had your vow renewal,'” Davis said Streep wrote to her in an email, “‘this is the best part of your life now. There’s not anything that you don’t know anymore in terms of what’s good and bad out there, so now you can just fly.'”

In an interview filled with advice, Davis definitely saved her best piece of wisdom for last, beseeching all women to recognize every day just how fabulous they actually are.

I just look at women sometimes and I just want to ask them, ‘Do you know how fabulous you are?’ I look back at pictures of myself and I remember thinking, ‘I was so fat when I was growing up. I was 165 pounds when I graduated from high school. I was a mess.’ And then I look back at pictures of myself, and I’m like, ‘You were fabulous.’ I wish I would have known that then. I wish people had just kept telling me and telling me, beating me over the head and beating me over the head some more and more and more. I talk to women all the time and try to impart that wisdom.

We second that, Viola.

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