The ‘Insecure’ star – who recently sparked rumours she is engaged to boyfriend Louis Diame – has always focused on “being smart, being accomplished and being respected” as she figured out at school that she isn’t the “type” that the guys she was attracted to wanted to date.

She said: “As corny as it sounds, I want you to just like my mind.

“I think a part of it just came from figuring out that the guys I like, I’m not their type. Learning that early on made me realise there’s no point in valuing the physical, because it wasn’t going to get me anywhere. So what can I control, and what can I bring to the table? How can I be valued in this way?”

The 34-year-old actress is glad things never “worked out” with the “cool guys” she was attracted to when she was younger.

She told Essence magazine: “I’m glad a lot of it didn’t work out. I was really into cool guys. I was into very high school muscular, college muscular dudes. I was just like, If I’m attracted to you, then what’s the problem?”

Though Issa initially felt rejected, she quickly “stopped caring” and insisted relationships have never been a major focus for her.

She said: “I guess, after a certain point. After I learned they weren’t checking for me like that, I just kind of stopped caring in that way. That’s not my primary focus. I’ve always been kind of flippant about relationships and men in general.”

The actress’ family travelled a lot when she was younger and while her parents tried to instill a sense of confidence in her, she eventually fumed that her mom ad “lied” to her when she was mocked by classmates.

She said: “My parents helped me and they hurt me. My mom was extremely pro-Black, and I believed her. My dad is Senegalese, and I grew up around my dark-skinned cousins and just thought that they were the most beautiful women in the world. I was surrounded by beautiful dark people.

“And then middle school hit, and I was like, Oh, they think I’m ugly. They think I’m big. They think I’m unattractive. I went back to my mom like, ‘What the f**k?! Y’all lied to me my whole life. What is this?!’

“I started realising, Mom, you’re light-skinned. So I don’t know what you were talking about. It’s not like you can relate to being dark. And your hair is not the same texture as mine. So what do you know about telling me I’m beautiful? Why would you lie to me? That definitely had an impact on how I saw myself.”

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