Viola Davis does not accept Hollywood’s fear of Black hair and she’s taken action to change things in her career and in the industry at large.
“That has not been my narrative lately in terms of hair because I refuse it. I reject it,” she said in a recent video interview, according to the New York Daily News. “I don’t think that people understand our hair…they don’t understand that we’re different and yet, the same. What I find is hair is something that a lot of people don’t honor when you do a film.”
To reject the narrative, Davis employs hairstylists who are well adept in caring for Black hair. She also said she plans on making her production company JuVee Productions a place where Black hair is treated with respect.
“I don’t embrace it,” she said of hairstyling that doesn’t center Black hair. “And with my production company–that’s not going to be a part of it.”
The conversation surrounding the industry’s lack of Black hair knowledge stemmed from an Instagram post made by model Olivia Anakwe, who complained about how Black models still must deal with hairstyling teams who don’t know how to care for Black hair. “Black models are still asking for just one hairstylist on every team no matter where your team is from to care for afro hair,” she wrote. “I was asked to get out of an empty chair followed by having hairstylists blatantly turning their backs to me when I would walk up to them, to get my hair done.”
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This message is to spread awareness & hopefully reach anyone in the hair field to expand their range of skills. Black models are still asking for just one hairstylist on every team no matter where your team is from to care for afro hair. I was asked to get out of an empty chair followed by having hairstylists blatantly turning their backs to me when I would walk up to them, to get my hair done. If I am asked to wear my natural hair to a show, the team should prepare the style just as they practice the look and demo for non-afro hair. I arrived backstage where they planned to do cornrows, but not one person on the team knew how to do them without admitting so. After one lady attempted and pulled my edges relentlessly, I stood up to find a model who could possibly do it. After asking two models and then the lead/only nail stylist, she was then taken away from her job to do my hair. This is not okay. This will never be okay. This needs to change. No matter how small your team is, make sure you have one person that is competent at doing afro texture hair care OR just hire a black hairstylist! Black hairstylists are required to know how to do everyone’s hair, why does the same not apply to others? It does not matter if you don’t specialize in afro hair, as a continuous learner in your field you should be open to what you have yet to accomplish; take a class. I was ignored, I was forgotten, and I felt that. Unfortunately I’m not alone, black models with afro texture hair continuously face these similar unfair and disheartening circumstances. It’s 2019, it’s time to do better. || #NaturalHair #ModelsofColor #BlackHairCare #HairCare #Message #Hair #Hairstyling #Backstage #BTS #AfroTexturedHair #Afro #POC #Braids #Message #Spreadtheword #Speak #Awareness #Growth #WorkingTogether #BlackGirlMagic #Melanin
The conversation led to several actresses, including Yvette Nicole Brown, Gabrielle Union, Gabourey Sidibe and Loni Love responding and agreeing with Anakwe about the hair discrimination in Hollywood.
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