To her fans, supermodel Adwoa Aboah seems to have the world at her fingertips. She even has her own Barbie doll in her likeness.
But the 28-year-old British model says she has been pushed to "a dark breaking point" over insecurities due to her mixed-race.
Aboah is the daughter of English fashion booking agent Camilla Lowther, who is Caucasian, and Ghanaian location scout Charles Aboah.
The runway Diva tells U.K. magazine Elle she spent much of her life "quietly hiding her insecurities and internalizing her shame" over her mixed race heritage.
Aboah confessed that she felt she "wasn't white enough, nor Black enough" during her teenage years.
"I'd watch from the sidelines as certain friends flourished in social situations, all carefree and glowing, while I quietly hid my insecurities and internalized my shame," she recalled, adding she wanted to "be like everyone else".
She agonized over the disinterest from boys she liked in school in Great Britain.
"Boys weren't into my braids, so I conformed – painfully relaxing my hair, which didn't win them over either."
The leggy model confessed she "put on a facade" to make it in the modeling industry as a lanky teenager, which did nothing for her self-esteem.
"When I started receiving more attention and external validation, I hoped these superficial markers could carry me through. If I can just put on a facade and keep the messy feelings inside, I thought, they'll magically disappear. Instead, they followed me into adulthood, compounding over time and pushing me to a dark breaking point."
Giving advice to the next generation, the Vogue cover star said be honest with yourself and speak openly about your insecurities rather than keep them inside.
"Speak up and find spaces that let you do so without judgment or shame. I previously did the opposite."
She continued: "I learned to not talk about things: the fears I had, that we all have. I wasn't able to articulate them. If I had opened up back then, I would have realized that these things were natural."