Photo: Dia Dipasupil (Getty Images)

So here we were, minding our business on an otherwise tepid Tuesday, skimming the Twitter, when we stumbled upon the most adorable—and strangely recognizable—little face on the Toronto International Film Festival’s feed. It was a baby Ava DuVernay, giving #BlackGirlMagic in braids and barrettes, and reminding us that every great person was once just a cute-ass kid.


Now, what we didn’t know was that DuVernay was both homecoming queen and student body president, which isn’t really surprising, but proves that this whole overachiever thing is nothing new for the director of the film currently occupying the No. 2 slot at the box office. According to Ryan Coogler, director of the No. 1 film (some little documentary about a panther, or whatever), she’s also a wonder to watch in real life. He says, “[She] is someone who makes the impossible look easy. ... [S]he’s one of those people who you feel like you’ve always known.”

Since DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time is currently giving us #BlackGirlMagic at the box office, we thought it only fair that we recognize the black girl magic behind it all. And just to prove my theory that every glow up likely starts with awkward-but-adorable school pictures, I’ll provide this additional evidence:

Maiysha Kai, age 5
Photo: Courtesy of Maiysha Kai