Porsha Williams is well aware that good looks can go a long way, but that isn't what she relies on when it comes to creating her beauty empire.
Although she does look absolutely flawless on the cover of Upscale, the Real Housewives of Atlanta star tells the magazine knows that superficial characteristics shouldn't matter even though they sometimes do, despite what her mother, who she names as her "biggest inspiration," has told her.
"[My mother] taught me that beauty comes from the inside out; but I also know that the outside does matter," she says. "My outside beauty wasn't always so pretty, though."
Williams opens up about the bullying she faced as a young child for "being super skinny with big teeth." She also says that other black girls "would tease me and pull my hair because it was long." Even though she has faced critics her whole life, especially since appearing on the hit TV show, the reality star says it has only made her stronger.
Bennett Raglin/BET/Getty Images for BET
"It's funny, but not, that I can feel so confident in my own skin, even with my flaws," she says. "But my looks have warranted a general consensus that I'm ditzy or an airhead, thanks to the show. It's meant for entertainment, so I get it."
She adds, "But off camera, behind the doors at my office, it's a different story."
In addition to her place on RHOA, Porsha is busy building a growing beauty empire that includes hair extensions, shapewear and lingerie. She explains to the magazine that "dark moments" growing up allowed her to emerge stronger and therefore create something based on her "aesthetic."
"To be able to build something based on my life, my style...blows my mind," she says.
But it wasn't just the bullying from fellow students that helped shape her into who she is today. As the granddaughter of famed freedom fighter Hosea Williams, Portia says she has always "stood for something, so no matter what people think, I won't fall for just anything."
And now that her face is essentially everywhere, she explains that women have started to see her as an inspiration, which also helps her find affirmation in all that she does. "Women support me strongly, and I love it," she says.
"They compliment me, and that's great; but it seems as though they sympathize with my lows and celebrate my highs," she adds. "I think a lot of them have followed my journey on the show and watch my relationship unfold...They encourage [success]. I've always had support from my family, but to get that support from the world is humbling."
Stronger than ever, Williams says she will always come out on top no matter what adversities come her way. "When I look in the mirror, I see a survivor...I see a woman who owns who she is," she says.
"I'm proud of myself, who I am and who I represent. I can be put to the test, and I always emerge more resilient each time."