While the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements have had celebs rallying together against sexual assault, women of color have largely been in the background — including #MeToo founder Tarana Burke who was conspicuously absent from the Times “Person of the Year” cover.
So, seeing Viola Davis not only come through in an all-black ensemble, but show off her ’70s-esque afro styled by Jamika Wilson was more than a kick-ass fashion moment. It conjured up all the feels that come with seeing Black women represent beauty in ways that have often been relegated as less than elegant or not appropriate for the red carpet, entertainment industry or, even, work or school.
It’s also not the firs time we’ve seen the How To Get Away With Murder actress ditch a wig for her natural curls. Rather, this speaks to our own conversations around hair — whether it’s teeny weenie, butt grazing, natural or blown out.
Admit or not, our hair will always be political, with anything not adhering to a commercial standard of beauty (i.e., straight hair or the right kind of natural curl) causing outsiders to either ogle or gripe over our exotic textures while we spark insider debates on the beauty or appropriateness of a natural on the red carpet. That’s why we constantly celebrate anything other than the norm — from Zendaya’s aunty-inspired afro to Kerry Washington’s textured maternity slay. It’s not that we shouldn’t rock whatever damn hairstyle we want, but that who we are shouldn’t be second guessed when we ‘do.
So, yes, Viola’s hair was more than everything. It was the right statement at the right time.