Diana Ross

Diana Ross, my beauty icon. Photo: Evening Standard/Getty Images

Doe-eyed. Girlish grin. Unapologetic curls. Miss Diana Ross, when I look at you I see beauty.

As a supreme diva, you've serenaded many with the songs we've held close to our hearts. But as a woman – a black woman – you've inspired me to love my mahogany complexion, lithe figure, and naturally curly hair.

My very first memory of your effortless beauty is watching you dance alongside Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell and Ted Ross in the 1978 musical film "The Wiz." Wearing barely-there makeup and a teeny weeny Afro as the character Dorothy, I was captivated by your performance as you transformed from a bashful schoolteacher into a high-stepping young woman.

Seeing you rock short strands with confidence, helped me to hold my head high after having my lush locks regretfully chopped off as a pre-teen. In that very moment, I saw beauty beyond having straight, long hair and individuality as a must-have accessory -- a message that echoed down the yellow brick road.

Another moment of introspection you've inspired was sparked in a record shop in West Philadelphia. While feverishly combing through boxes of vinyl with my boyfriend, he uncovered a record labeled "Diana Ross." I squealed not only from the excitement of a great find, but because you looked absolutely stunning as your face glowed from the midst of the black LP cover.

With your wispy lashes, perfectly arched brows, glossy lips and sleek strands, you illustrated that being beautiful isn't really complicated.

While many of your classic beauty looks predate my very own existence -- from the perfectly coiffed beehives and winged liner you wore as lead singer of The Supremes to coming out as a solo star in voluminous curls and bold eye makeup to the curly bob and gardenias you donned in "Lady Sings the Blues" -- you are simply legendary, Miss Ross.

As you celebrate your 67th birthday today (March 26), your iconic beauty continues to influence the very way I draw on my gel eyeliner, fluff my curls and reveal my gap-toothed smile.