Deborah Joy Winans is pure melanin magic. Most fans know her from her role as Charity on OWN’s Greenleaf, a woman who was naïve and often struggled with who she was. We get to experience the soulful songstress as a more vibrant and confident character as a lead in TV One’s original film Don’t Waste Your Pretty. The film is based on the eponymous book penned by award-winning author and media personality Demetria L. Lucas.
“If you let Hollywood tell you, I’m too thick to be a leading lady. I’m too dark to be the one the guy goes for. And I stop letting other people, Hollywood included, dictate that,” she tells BeenWorthy during a recent interview.
Winans was so excited to play Jeanne in this film, a character who wouldn’t traditionally play the lead and get the guy in the end. Those who win in love in most Hollywood productions are fairer skinned and skinny. She was happy to present a character that was both relatable and representative of brown beauty.
Jeane (Winans) struggles to trust again after heartbreak. Throughout the film you see her try to embrace the love that’s right in front of her and accept the fact that she’s worthy of receiving it.
Not alone in her desire for real love, the film also stars Keri Hilson, Jasmine Burke, and Redaric Williams, telling the story of tightly knit friends as they sort out their turbulent life and love issues.
We asked Winans to share her ‘worthy aha moment’ with us, the moment she realized that not only was she worthy of all the things love and life had to offer, but she’s BEEN worthy.
“What I learned, which really came through my husband, is my flaws are beautiful. It does not matter what anyone else thinks about me, if I don’t love every part of me it doesn’t matter what anybody else says…I know my beauty. I know my worth.”Deborah Joy Winans
Don’t Waste Your Pretty is directed by Tamara Bass and written by Katrina O’Gilvie (“Behind the Movement”; nominee for NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Television Movie, Limited Series or Dramatic Special).
Check out the film on TVOne now.