Incredible Women

What Tiffany Haddish would like to tell her younger self

Comedian Tiffany Haddish had a boundary-breaking year in 2018, not least as the first black female to host Saturday Night Live (which has been running since 1975) and the 27th MTV Movie & TV Awards, where she also won Best Comedic Performance for her show-stealing turn in 2017’s Girls Trip.

The 38-year-old continues to win over the public with her wit and warmth, including in a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, which went viral, where she told her story about taking Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith on a Groupon swamp tour.

The South Central Los Angeles native – called “the funniest person alive right now” by Vanity Fair – has also been vocal about her difficult upbringing, including her mother’s mental health problems, growing up in foster care, and sleeping in her car as a budding comic in her twenties.

This fall, she is set to star in the Thanksgiving comedy The Oath and alongside Kevin Hart in Night School, while loud whispers of a Girls Trip sequel are generating excitement: “Putting it out there for Meryl Streep to be my mom in Girls Trip 2,” Haddish said. “Everybody will be like, ‘How you got a white mama?’ And I’ll be like, ‘I told y’all I was in the system. I was in foster care, stupid!’”

In an exclusive letter for PORTER, Tiffany writes to her struggling, clueless younger self.

Dear Tiffnicity* (aged 18),

We made it, bitch :). Honestly, I am so proud of you. I know right now you are thinking, ‘Why am I living this life? Why am I even here on this planet?’ Well, girl, it all pays off in the long run. There’s a lot of ups and downs, a lot of joy and pain. All I got to say is: stay focused, stay focused, stay focused. You knew what the goal was from day one… and girl, we’re gonna get there.

But a bit of advice – by the time you turn 21, you’re going to be working a job that you’re really not going to like – GET BACK ON STAGE. Don’t stop, no matter what. You will get married and it’s going to be a great learning experience but get out of there as soon as you can. Because as soon as we get out, we make it.

Also, when you’re sleeping in your car, make sure you bring some extra blankets, because it is cold.

One last thing – I want you to start looking in the mirror every day. Don’t worry about what our auntie says about looking in a mirror making you vain. You will never be vain. You’re too humble. Look in the mirror every day and start telling yourself that you love and approve of yourself. Once we start doing that, everything changes. So, start now and we can change it quicker.

Any questions?

Love Tiffany

P.S. We are going to have so many cool friends when we get older. I would tell you who they are but I don’t want you to start writing them letters now and messing that up.

P.P.S. Don’t worry about kids, because guess what? More than 20 years later, we don’t have any. I’ll write another letter to us, 10 years from now, and if we don’t have any kids by then, we’re gonna adopt.

P.P.P.S. Can you not drink so much after comedy shows as we really need our rest. I am so tired right now.

*Tiffany’s name for herself, because her uncle used to say she was full of tenacity.

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