nia long (essence cover)*Actress Nia Long is on the cover of the latest Essence Magazine with her two children.

The actress, who at 41, continues to look as stunning as she did in her days on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

Here’s an excerpt from the cover story on the beautiful part-time mother and actress:

“I’m in my forties, post baby and I’m thinner than I’ve been in years. The last step will be letting my hair go natural. That’s when you’ll know I’m free…” — Nia Long

We’ve all watched Nia Long grow up on-screen. At 41, with her pixie cut and eternally young good looks, she’s the hip-hop generation’s fantasy girlfriend. Now as she embraces life with her sons (including a new baby!), her partner and a reconnection with her father, the star tells ESSENCE that she has never felt more fulfilled.

In the article, Nia also says …

“Marriage is not a priority for me. I’m not saying I’ll never do it; It’s just not where we are as a family,”

However, although confident in her choices, Long isn’t oblivious to the constant scrutiny from being in the public eye.

“I’ll be at home with my man, having a perfectly loving time, and I’ll see all these comments on some site about how wrong I am for not being married,” she says. “I don’t feel less loved or less loving because I’m not married.”

Admitting she has “never seen a marriage work,” Long is instead focused on finally having reached “emotional maturity” — from her life with Udoka to her relationship with Massai’s father.

“Massai’s dad and I have had the most challenging times, and I wasn’t always sure we wouldn’t end like my mother and father,” she says. “But we’ve arrived at a place where I can truly say he’s not a baby daddy, he’s my friend, finally. He is an amazing father.”

Read more here.