I’m living in New York, and I had a conversation with an up-and-coming actress the other day. She brought to my attention that Tracee Ellis Ross is the only [prominent] actress on television with natural hair. This friend went on to tell me that she will have to straighten her hair if she wants to land one of her next roles.
This got me thinking. I wonder how many Hollywood actresses are longing to embrace their natural tresses, but aren’t allowed to because of their image consultants, managers, publicists, etc.
Here we are (at least some of us), on the other side of the TV, thinking that some celebrities believe they’re “too good” to rock the ‘fro, when in reality, they might not have the voice to do so. How sad is that?!
What if Beyonce envies her sister Solange for her ability to sport her natural curls and become an icon in the natural hair community? What if she’s actually sick of all of the weave*? Interesting perspective, right?
How do we, as consumers of the media and members of #teamnatural, put pressure on Hollywood to represent and more accurately reflect the real lives of black Americans?
How do we support our role models in their choice to listen to their inner spirit, even if that means missing out on jobs or losing fans or being talked about or what have you? I, for one, would like to see more Tracee Ellis Rosses on TV. I know she’s getting tired of holding down the fort all by herself.
If the women in high leadership positions don’t have the power to dictate their own appearance, then what hope do we have in ever making this “movement” turn into something that’s here to stay for the long haul?
The only solution is to continue to be confident and bold about our own hair so that we inspire others to embrace their roots, even celebrities.
Let’s continue to educate the world about black hair so we won’t have to feel inferior every time we walk down the street. Let us change the direction of influence and actually inspire the actresses, singers and models instead of them inspiring us.
Let’s show the world that we are perfectly beautiful with the hair that God designed us to have and we shouldn’t have to straighten it or hide it to appease the articulate minority parading as the masses.
Ladies, our voice matters. Our stories matter. Our DNA matters. Hair is never just hair. It’s always so much deeper.