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Viola’s ‘this is me’ Oscar night

  • Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom

The black hair care industry is a nearly billion-dollar business, and for black women, a lot of them just aren’t comfortable with their nappy hair. Natural black hair just isn’t attractive to many black folk.

by Pearl Walker-Ali
Special to the Tri-State Defender

The black hair care industry is a nearly billion-dollar business, and for black women, a lot of them just aren’t comfortable with their nappy hair. Natural black hair just isn’t attractive to many black folk. How powerful an image was it for black women and girls around the world to see one of the best actresses of our generation on the red carpet just happy to be nappy.

 Viola Davis and Julius Tennon
 Viola Davis came up short in her bid to win an Oscar for her performance in “The Help.” Her decision to wear her hair short and natural was a winner. Davis and her husband, Julius Tennon walk the red carpet before the 84th Annual Academy Awards. (Photo by Bryan Crowe/A.M.P.A.S.)

 
 Viola Davis in 2008 (Courtesy photo)

 
 Viola Davis in 2010 (Photo by Joella Marano)

Viola Davis shunned her usual wigs and wore her hair short, colored and natural to the 84th Academy Awards on Sunday (Feb. 26), after taking the advice of her husband, Julius Tennon.

“He said, ‘If you want to wear it for your career, that’s fine, but in your life wear your hair. Step into who you are!’ It’s a very powerful statement.”

Tennon reportedly thought she was stunning with natural hair on the cover and in a photo spread in the Los Angeles Times magazine earlier this month. And on Oscar night, Tennon thought his wife looked lovely, and younger too, with the short crop, reddish hue and emerald green Vera Wang gown.

His position was paramount because so many women are held hostage to relaxers to satisfy the desires of their significant other.

Innerlightradio.com, based out of Los Angeles, conducted a live discussion Tuesday evening on the significance of Davis wearing her natural hair to the Oscars. The discussion featured comedian Daryl Mooney (son of Paul Mooney) and actress/director Tann Moore.

“As a Black man, I loved the fact that her husband – a black man – told her to wear her hair natural because he thought she looked better, prettier and younger….That was a big huge statement for black men and women across the board,” said Mooney.

“I think she wanted to be a Nubian queen to show she was a free black woman and not the maid stereotype.”

Moore said, “I don’t know if she set out to make a point, but I actually thought about that…her hair said that you can be beautiful naturally. For me, it’s that it is beautiful to be who you are and remove the façade and all of the extra stuff and be exactly who you are….I think she carried it very well. She was regal and elegant.”

Davis’ “black mocha skin” made a statement too,” said Moore.

“Here in Black Hollywood we can be silly…the lighter the better, but here is this Nubian deep mocha queen, on the front row at the Oscars being nominated with the likes of a Meryl Streep. I hope that younger and older women will look at Viola and say, ‘We have come a long way, and she was very inspiring!!!’”

Davis had a total look that did not go un-noticed. Kendra Young, a pharmacist who works out five times a week said, “I think she was gorgeous, and her body was banging!”

TaKeisha Berry-Brooks, owner of A Natural Affair Beauty Lounge, viewed the 84th Academy Awards.

“Viola was beautiful for the Oscars. I loved her hair color, and the way her brows accented the color, said Berry-Brooks. “It was a graceful look.”

Gigi Hill, loctician at Legacy Locks and Natural Styles, said, “Viola’s ‘this is me’ appearance during that star studded event will cause not only natural beauty awareness, but inspire strength and self love for black women who really are still under the mask.”

(Pearl Walker-Ali is the owner of Legacy Locks & Natural Styles. To reach her, call 901-289-6909.)

 

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