Sanaa Lathan attended a round-table discussion in New York on Wednesday with P&G's My Black Is Beautiful initiative, and lauded the company for taking steps to reach out to young people, especially young black women.
"It's really thoughtful and responsible of this big corporation to think about the future of all of these young people who don't necessarily get reflected in advertisement today," the actress told Enstars.
Lathan said she hopes that the initiative, begun in 2007, can help provide a wide message of self-esteem, emphasizing that, "beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors."
According to Lathan, My Black Is Beautiful may have been something she wished for in her youth, revealing she went through a time when she was not aware of her own beauty.
"In junior high school, I went to a predominately white school, and I was one of the only girls of color," said Lathan, who recalled that her black hair was not "bouncing and flowing" like that of her classmates.
"Because I didn't look like everyone else, I definitely had moments of feeling insecure."
The actress said she was finally able to regain her self-esteem with the help of her family.
"I just had really encouraging positive parents that were always instilling in me, 'You're smart [and] beautiful,'" said Lathan, adding that ultimately,"It's really what you feel about yourself."
"When they say 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder,'" she continued, "that means that whatever I think is beautiful is beautiful; there is no standard. So if I'm constantly being told that, and I'm feeling that, then I'm beautiful."
When she isn't preaching a gospel of self-love, Lathan has been working on the upcoming film The Best Man Holiday. The film, due in November, is a sequel to 1999's The Best Man, and revisits the characters 15 years down the line.
Lathan said that she enjoyed seeing all those familiar faces and was especially excited to be working again with Taye Diggs. In Holiday, she plays his wife, and they have also been paired with each other in the movies The Wood (1999) and Brown Sugar (2002), as well as the Best Man series.
"It was almost like going to [summer] camp," she described the environment on set. "We got to work, [but] it didn't feel like work."
That positivity from the set translated into a project Lathan is extremely proud of.
"Everything people loved about the first one, they're going to love about this one," she exclaimed.