I have always wondered what it is like for celebrity women who choose to wear their fro’s predominantly in their daily lives or even out and about on the scene.
After watching the TODAY debacle with a stylist who should have had some experience styling hair in the limelight, it seems as if things are a bit grim in Hollywood for natural hair.
As if I needed any confirmation of my thoughts, Viola Davis had this same conversation when she visited Late night with Stephen Colbert earlier this week.
She was there to discuss a series she was producing called American Coco, which is about an agency that solves “sticky racial situations.”
This, of course, lead to a discussion of just what she meant by ‘sticky racial situations” and Viola broke it down saying it was moments of racial discrimination or moments of racism that happen due to lack of understanding between people.
To break it down even further she described an experience where she wore her afro out during a movie she was filming and the stylist she had did not have a clue about how to take care of her hair.
“I was doing a movie and I was doing it with my ‘fro, and this Caucasian woman had her fingers in my hair. She said, ‘I’m going to make it really pretty!’ So she put some White goo in it and I wanted to say something.”
When asked to clarify what she meant when speaking on the “white goo,” Davis clarified, “Goo only White people would use.”
She continued: “She put that and then she took a big spray bottle filled with water and just started spraying my fro with it. With the goo in the hair. I wanted to say, ‘This is not going to work.’ But I knew if I said it that I would be insulting her. So then I went to the set and slowly the sun caught my hair and my whole fro turned white.”
She went on to explain to Colbert that she could not ignore it she had to have that uncomfortable conversation about black hair and what absolutely does not work for it.
“Because then you gotta talk about hair and then you gotta say, ‘You don’t know what to do with my hair!’ But you can’t say that because then you’d be insulting.” While she didn’t politely school the stylist, she did offer Colbert this lesson in how ‘fros work.
“By the way, if you put water on a ‘fro, if it’s this big, it’s will become this big. It shrinks!” To which Colbert replied, “The fro shrinks? Is the water cold? Does that make it shrink even more?”
Watch the conversation for yourself (skip to 6.30):