Bruna Nessif Poses for Playboy's 2019 Winter Issue

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fed the limiting belief that I could be either smart or sexy. Never both, because one would discredit the other. So I chose to be smart. I buried my face in books. I became a top student. I graduated with a broadcast journalism degree, pursued writing, became an entrepreneur, launched a website, spoke at the Women’s Empowerment Expo and published a self-help book, Let That Shit Go. Through many of these accomplishments, I continued to internalize, perhaps subconsciously, a narrative that said I couldn’t exude sex appeal because then people wouldn’t take me seriously. This caused mental conflict; I knew it was fucked up. Why did I have to stifle myself as a woman to be accepted?

Read more in the Playboy Winter 2019 issue on newsstands now!