The Queen & Slim actress got real about her past insecurities.

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Jodie Turner-Smith made waves this fall as the leading lady of the instant box office hit Queen & Slim, and she’s been having fun while out promoting the film by trying out different hairstyles for her short cut.

The star has worn headwraps, tried classic finger waves, and even played with a little color. But we’ve yet to see Turner-Smith with long hair (aside from the occasional set of box braids), until now.

On Dec. 17, the actress posted an early TBT of her high school yearbook photos where she had long, straight hair. In the caption, Turner-Smith opened up about her journey to getting to a place where she felt comfortable in her own skin.

“I’m humbled when I look at this girl. 17 year old me. Not just because of how I look on the outside, but because I remember how I felt on the inside,” she wrote. “I remember how badly I hated myself and hated the dark skin that made people call me ugly. How I turned my helplessness at being unable to change my outward appearance inward, by constantly cleaving away any and all parts of myself that I was told made me unacceptable to others.”

The actress went on to describe how at the time she exhausted herself by trying to change her appearance in an effort to be more acceptable to those around her. But looking back now, she sees a totally different girl.

“I am grateful for the girl in these photos and for every part of this journey,” she shared. “Because I couldn’t be me, now, if I wasn’t first her, then. When you know what it feels like to hate yourself, finally loving yourself is a freedom that cannot be matched by anyone else’s approval. Also worth noting — I was voted Most Likely To Succeed! But we all thought it would be in somebody’s office.”