Viola Davis Speaks Out On Societal Pressures and Black Girls' Hair

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“I invest so much into [my daughter's] life, but if her hair isn’t right then I’m not a good mother,” she says.

Our hair is a constant evolution—should we wear it curly, straight, use chemicals, cut it off? And even when we’ve decided on a particular style, sometimes it’s hard to maintain. Throw in caring for your daughter’s hair, and it can be complete chaos.

Viola Davis feels many of those same frustrations when dealing with her daughter’s hair. “I invest so much into her life, but if her hair isn’t right then I’m not a good mother,” she says. “But, like India Arie says, ‘I’m not my hair.’ Well, I am my hair, but there’s so much more to me.”

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Lately, the Emmy winning actress hasn’t had much time to care for her hair, on top of scoring leading roles on TV, she’s also lending her voice to The Vaseline Healing Project, an organization that provides dermatological care, medical supplies, Vaseline products and health worker training to help heal the skin of five million people living in the wake of disaster in the U.S. Davis explains it’s not about her not liking or wanting to style it, it’s just that she doesn’t have time.

Her resolve? Allowing herself to be Viola Davis and embrace her beauty both on and off camera.

“Sometimes [actresses] feel like if we don’t have perfect hair, then we’re not doing anything. We have to understand that that hair doesn’t negate our beauty. You’ll see a Caucasian lady walking into the scene with messed up hair, or after the shower with no makeup and it’s not a big deal,” says Davis. “It’s just her portraying that moment in time. But we don’t allow ourselves to do that.”

What do you think? Do you have pressure to have perfect hair for yourself and your daughter?

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