Viola Davis has been in the news a lot lately, which isn’t surprising, since she is the star of one of the hottest shows on Thursday night prime time television. They say that “How To Get Away With Murder” had more views than Thursday night football, and everybody knows when they start comparing you to football, you are doing something right. Needless to say, Shondaland has been good to her, and we are certainly enjoying the roller coaster ride every week.
I have been following Viola’s interviews, and a lot of them surround her role on her show, and also how she feels about being described as being, “less classically beautiful” by a New York Times writer, as well as her thoughts on Shonda being described as “an angry black woman”, since casting her along with Kerry Washington for leading roles.
Viola made sure everyone knew she would not be disrespected, and that she felt slighted when described as, “less than classically beautiful” by the NY Times. While Viola has a lot to say about both those comments, she recently opened up to Vulture magazine about losing her hair due to traction alopecia, and wearing wigs* to feel beautiful.
Here is an excerpt:
When Davis was 28, she lost half her hair to alopecia areata. “I woke up one day and it looked like I had a Mohawk. Big splash of bald on the top of my head,” she says. “I was like, What is this? Until I found out it was stress related. That’s how I internalized it. I don’t do that anymore. My favorite saying in the world is, ‘The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.’ I am telling you, I have spent so much of my life not feeling comfortable in my skin. I am just so not there anymore.”
After that alopecia, she wore a wig everywhere. “I wore a wig* in the Jacuzzi. I had a wig I wore around the house. I had a wig that I wore to events. I had a wig* that I wore when I worked out. I never showed my natural hair. It was a crutch, not an enhancement…I was so desperate for people to think that I was beautiful. I had to be liberated from that [feeling] to a certain extent.” So at the 2012 Oscars, she exposed her “natural hair.” She still has her wigs*; she wears them on Murder, she wears them to photo shoots, she wears them when she doesn’t have time to pick out her hair and get rid of her grays, but she no longer wears them in her everyday life. What matters, she says, is that “it’s an option … when it used to never be an option. I had something to hide.”
I thought a lot about what Viola said in that snippet, even though alopecia complicated things for her, I think she has had an issue with being considered beautiful for a very long time as she openly admits.
Personally, when the NY Times said she was “less than classically beautiful”, I did not consider the comment to be something she should be angry at, but I realized that how a statement like that can hit close to home, especially when it plays upon your own insecurities.
Priscilla Morley says
You are beautiful Viola!
Malakah Angellia Gladston says
The sad part of it is…she was desperate for HERSELF to think that she was beautiful. I’m pretty sure that everyone else though that she was. Sometimes we’re our worse enemy 🙂
Greene Kenya says
I do agree what you are saying.
Patricia Colvin says
Gabrielle Pittman says
You are and very talented
Talisia KillaSway Jones says
The sad part is she wasn’t made to feel beautiful. Even as a child, we need to make our children feel and know that they are beautiful.
I think more so than their looks, focus on their accomplishments. Like good grades = intelligent. Volunteering in a church group or for the homeless = kind, caring, giving. Sharing with your peers=generosity. It takes more than looks to be a truley beautiful person. If you don’t let them know they are/ can be good people, they may never try.
Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder. Who’s beautiful to me, others may think is ugly and vice versa, though I don’t focus on appearance.
Kamesha Mcalister says
I tell my babys shes beautiful since the day I had her. And i still tell them they beautiful. I want them to know they are and they will always be beautiful and not to let no one tell them any thing different.
Velouise Bell says
We have to let out children know how beautiful and handsome they are at all times. Viola you are beautiful and a very talented actress.
Sheila Edwards says
I have a lot of admiration and respect for Viola.
Tembisa Bangani says
Folashade Akanni says
Wow I love her honesty. Many women hide behind wigs a extensions
Noel Akira says
You are BEAUTIFUL.
Cheryl Williams says
Beauty comes from within
Krysten Sade says
Jokoya McLean says
Devera Smith Robinson says
We as parents must uplift our children at every opportunity. To this day I tell my daughter how pretty she is and my son how handsome he is. It should always come from home first. I remember when they were babies and I was always saying how cute they were and my mom would tell me that I shouldn’t say that. I guess she thought it would offend people. But I would say “but they are cute!” I didn’t care who I offended! Lol
Guerda Brutus says
I absolutely love her!
Marcia Watson says
As a society we place too much emphasis on the exterior. We should always let our children and our young people know how talented and gifted they are. Help them see characteristics in themselves that are positive. Then and only then they can radiate from the inside out.
She is not only beautiful, but an extremely talented woman. I admire her.
Kyishia Harris says
Rhea Kelly-Evans says
You are beautiful mama
Veola Carter says
I am dark skinned with kinky hair and it is a struggle. I think the major difference is that my family ALWAYS told me I wasbeautiful, even when I doubted it. My mom would give reasons like: you are intelligent and have big heart, so it was never about how I looked. Now that I am older, I have figuired out that is what they tell the ugly kids (lol). Anyway I was able to let my beautiful inner qualities shine through and now that I am older I know I am good looking (I mean I am no 10 but I am no less than an 8.5 :D) but that comes from knowing my insides are beautiful too. I think it is truley important that we foster positive self images with our children that are not based on what they see, but more based on their defininition of beauty.
My son is very handsome, yet I don’t focus on his looks. Inner qualities make you beautiful.
Katherine Wright says
Beautiful without a wig, wear it or not, the choice is yours !!!
Maimuna Munira says
Society society society not jus our selfs but society
Gwendolyn E. White says
She is a beautiful lady from all I’ve read inside and out.
—Stay Blessed, people need to sweep around there own front doors.
Rhonda Shorts says
I ONLY HERE FROM WOMAN.
IT WOULD BE MORE COVINCING IF MEN WERE TELLING HER SHE’S BEAUTIFUL TOO!
AS A CHILD SHE REMINDS ME OF BERNIE MACK
Phoebbie D. Bryant says
You look beautiful with out a wig! Please tell Shonda to take that darn thing off of you! I think your character would be even more powerful! I’m just sayin. …….
Cantstop Myshow says
She looked like a boy lol
Angela Watson Phd says
I watched Taboo and an episode called ugly came on and changed my view on aesthetics. Get to know people before judging them.
Roxanne Bell says
U r beautiful
Tammie Faulkner Taylor says
I had to “grow into” my features/looks as well. I can relate.
Beautiful! I love your natural hair. Wish you would wear it on the show.
Angie Lateise Ayaba says
We have got to stop looking for validation from others. Find beauty within yourself!
Laura Jehue Mabon says
Viola IS BEAUTIFUL!!!!
MEshell Green says
You are beautiful I love that hair style on you and color.
Alegra FormallyknownasHolloway Ellis says
I honestly thinks she looks best in the picture shown. In her natural state…..
Amazing story/blog. Very heartfelt and well written! 🙂
I agree with article… and like all of you I think viola is amazing. The one question. I have is to the author. Are you suggesting that when someone tells you that you aren’t classically beautiful you shouldn’t take offense, when in essence that person is saying to you ” you are not pretty because you aren’t white looking enough” I think that is offensive and every woman of color, should not be “OK” with being considered less than because of our race
I was thinking the same thing. I think she should be offended! We all know that “classically beautiful” = white features. If people would realize that “white” is NOT the standard for beauty, despite what the media has SHOWN us, we wouldn’t hear things like “not classically beautiful” or “your pretty for a dark skinned girl.” It’s sad that we have still yet to realize this.
Carrie Adams says
U r wonderfully beautiful…
Tecie Tisha Betts says
She was beautiful then and even more beautiful now. Viola Davis is an amazing woman.
Honey Yams says
This makes me sad
Honey Yams says
I want to hug her as a little girl and take her out for a spa day
Indigo Mcleod says
I like her hair natural… I’m pro “do your do like you [email protected], but she looks sooooo much better with her hair.
Alegra FormallyknownasHolloway Ellis says
That’s what I said ^^^^
Indigo Mcleod says
But I hope this is the last week for this story… Every other day there is an hair story… Only with black American females. ENOUGH! I wish they made captions about her stress issues and how she dealt with them. This hair mess is getting old!
Miranda Jett says
She is more beautiful without the wigs! She is a good looking woman.
Gwendolyn German says
U r beautiful Viola- my fav actress!!!!bet ur heart is as beautiful2….don’t see u on tabloids at all- classy/talented/gorgeous/loveable lady– luv this lady!!!!!luv the show!!!! Watch every movie Viola is in!!!! Huge fan!!! Luv u Viola!!!
Turner Carol says
If you had to make it big you are still beautiful you are still beautiful beauty is within you and you are beautiful person what I can see from TV
Clemer Holmes says
You are totally beautiful….
Annie Dyckes Hill says
You are beautiful!
Michelle Hampton says
You are beautiful naturally girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
Bess Crawford Fredette says
We love you Viola!