“You’re always taught as a person of color to not like your hair”- Viola Davis

When actress Viola Davis was set to shoot her role in the upcoming film “Widows,” she was faced with a familiar dilemma -what to do with her hair?

In the movie, Davis plays Veronica Rawlins, the leader of a robbery gang. She spent time thinking about what type of hair extension or wig they would ask her to wear. When she asked director Steve McQueen, his reply was shocking to her.

“Your own hair is beautiful — just wear it that way,’” McQueen said.

Davis found this liberating and represented an important social statement. “You’re always taught as a person of colour to not like your hair,” she said in the latest edition of Variety Magazine. “The kinkier it is, the so-called nappier it is, the uglier it is.”

“We’re into a zeitgeist where people are fighting for their space to be seen,” says Davis. “People have to know that there are different types of women of colour. We’re not all Foxy Brown. We’re not all brown or light-skinned beauties with a big Afro. We have the girl next door. We have the older, dark-skinned, natural-haired woman.”

On acceptance

“People, in general, are always hustling for our worth,” she says. “People in positions of power are always telling you that you’re less than or you’re unworthy. I’m a Christian. I reject that. We’re born worthy. You need to take [unworthiness] off the table.”

On diversity among black women

“We’re into a zeitgeist where people are fighting for their space to be seen,” says Davis. “People have to know that there are different types of women of colour. We’re not all Foxy Brown. We’re not all brown or light-skinned beauties with a big Afro. We have the girl next door. We have the older, dark-skinned, natural-haired woman.”

On Inclusion

“There are no percentages to show the difference,” says Davis. “It’s vast. Hispanic women, Asian women, black women, we don’t get paid what Caucasian women get paid. We just don’t. … We have the talent. It’s the opportunity that we’re lacking.”

Actress Viola Davis photographed at her home in Los Angeles, CA July 2018 by Williams + Hirakawa
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