The authentic self is the soul made visible.” ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach
Award-winning actress Viola Davis legendarily shocked curlies and non curly headed girls alike when she revealed her beautiful, natural hair during this year’s Oscars. It was a moment that seemly set Hollywood on fire, with several celebs whipping off their wigs, taking out weaves, and putting down flat irons to reveal their curly manes. Let’s count them up. There’s been Raven Symone, Tamera Mowry, Angela Simmons, and recently The Big O–Oprah, among the bunch.
This week, Miss Davis stunned us once more by showcasing her curly mane during the red carpet premiere of her new film, Won’t Back Down. Like her film’s title, Viola is unapologetic when it comes to her hair. On Anderson Live with Anderson Cooper, she discussed her natural hair and struggles with the Hollywood beauty beasts.
“For me, I felt like every time I put on a wig, I was apologizing for who I was, being a dark-skinned woman with very curly hair. I felt like I was hiding it,” says Davis.
Her statements are sad but not new. Historically, in the African-American community, women are taught to hate their hair due to deep-rooted issues dating back to slavery. This negativity festers in families and/or community members. As Viola stated, “there’s not enough time to explain the hair issues” … well, except here at My Curly Mane!
This history, which spans across different lands and cultures, may come as no surprise to you, but the shocker is that we’ve just gotten to the point where celebrities are also supporting the cause, allowing women to know that there is no shame in having naturally curly hair. The kinks, fluff, coils, poof, and all the other variations of our hair is amazing. It’s also appreciated when these celebrities don’t just jump on the bandwagon, but instead, they are willing to address their own issues and the pressures to maintain the images forced upon them. This is beyond just wearing magic hair and wigs for fun or a preferred style. This is about hating your natural hair and those of others and finally coming into self acceptance.
For Viola, she felt as if she wasn’t being authentic by hiding her hair. It sounds as if there was a certain amount of shame associated with it, which many women face. Making this step towards self acceptance on a global platform like the Oscars or any red carpet takes a lot of chutzpah! For myself, I rode the roller coaster ride of hair acceptance before choosing the road less traveled. That path is always the hardest, whether it’s about your hair or simply being authentic to your beliefs, just being yourself.
Do you recall a time when you weren’t being your authentic self? Have you ever hid your hair in shame?
Get This Look
Viola’s hair is tightly curly in one of my fave colors–red. If you have natural hair, you can mirror this look by doing a wash and go. Literally, wash and let your fro go … unless you need assistance through a few products and quick tricks. As always, you can apply a leave-in conditioner and styler to wet hair, twisting your curls into neat formations with your fingers. Once dry, you can leave as is, or gently separate and tug on your hair for more volume.
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