The Moment Phylicia Rashad First Felt Beautiful

Aired on 09/24/1987 | CC tv-pg
Growing up, actress Phylicia Rashad says, she figured that when God created her, he must have been "on a lunch break."

The Cosby Show star didn't begin life feeling gorgeous. In fact, she told Oprah in a 1987 interview, she didn't experience self-beauty until she stepped into a spotlight. When Phylicia was 11, she had been tapped to narrate a musical program for all the elementary schools in Houston, Texas, and she had learned her lines perfectly, she said, but she couldn't see the audience because the stage lights were blinding. She just delivered her lines into the light, and it "felt wonderful," she told Oprah, because she discovered "the beauty of communication from within one's own self."

Later, at age 16, she learned an important message when her mother caught her crying because of her skinny legs and long neck. Her mother laughed and told her that one day she'd feel differently. "I couldn't see it because I was looking at what everybody else looked like and thinking, 'Well, I don't look like her, and I know she's beautiful. And I don't look like him, and I know he's beautiful. So I must not be beautiful.' And I was so wrong."

Original airdate: September 24, 1987