Oscar-nominated actress Viola Davis covers the October issue of Essence magazine, on stands now, and she looks absolutely stunning! First off, let me just say that I am loving the fact the she is on Essence’s cover with her natural hair! As a fellow naturalista, that makes me proud. It is small progress like this that makes me more comfortable in my own skin. She is such a dominant force in Hollywood! It warms my heart to look on television and not only see a fellow African-American woman being successful, but to take even one step further, to see one who is not afraid of her hair in it’s natural state! Now don’t get me wrong, I still do love my quick-weaves and sew-ins, but there is just something about my wearing my natural hair that I find so liberating, both internally and externally.
In this feature article, Viola talks about it all. From becoming a mom to an adopted 2-year-old, beautiful little girl named Genesis the power of beauty to having creative freedom to making a difference.
ON BECOMING A MOM:
“I didn’t want to leave this earth and not know what it means to nurture life and be a mother, you know? I wanted to live my full human potential and the life God intended for me. … [But] what surprised me is the level of joy that it brought to my life and, at the same time, how your heart breaks every day in little ways and big ways. When you’re a parent, you understand the full responsibility of the life you have, protecting them, navigating the successes and failures. And you realize that you can’t one hundred percent protect them. That’s what breaks your heart the most. [What scares me] losing her. Her not being everything she feels she can be in life. Her not believing in herself the way I didn’t believe in myself; I know the kind of pain that can bring her.”
ON THE POWER OF BEAUTY:
“I had to defend my as an artist, but I found myself defending myself as a dark-skinned Black woman in front of people who did not know my life, not just in terms of being Viola but also in terms of being a black actress in Hollywood. And through that fighting, what emerged was that I needed to take my wig off, because I no longer wanted to apologize for who I am. So I did and felt very comfortable in doing that.”
ON HAVING CREATIVE FREEDOM:
“Everybody talks about the kind of movies they want to see me in, and on of the things they don’t realize is, I agree with them. One hundred percent agree with them. You have to realize that nobody who looks like me is doing the movies that you want to see me in. The journey to getting anything made is the one that you cannot even explain in a few hours’ time.”
ON MAKING A DIFFERENCE:
“[But] I have embraced my success, because I’m embracing the responsibility of it. I’m embracing the power I have right now, because you only have a dash of time on this eart. And you really have even less of a dash in this business. I have to believe I’m just using this time to make a mark and to make a difference. Not just for myself but for so many African-American artists and artists of color who need to be able to work and to be able to show that we have narratives that are complicated and are relevant. It’s one thing when the world dismisses us. It’s another when we do it to ourselves, when we do it to one another.”
Davis goes on and gives her opinion about other topics like women and they hair. She says that she feels that in America, we place too much value on hair. She says that we deprive ourselves of things and use them to destroy each other. She states that a mother and her sense of motherhood should NOT be judged by the way the child’s hair looks. I thought that was an interesting statement because lately Beyonce has been catching a lot of flack from fans saying that she should do more to Blue Ivy’s hair. I can see both sides of the argument. At any rate, kudos to Viola for reaching that point of true happiness and freedom, that point of throwing caution to the wind and not being afraid of letting her hair down! 😉
- Viola Davis Is Radiant on the October Cover of ESSENCE (essence.com)