Viola Davis Embraces Her Beauty After Going Natural

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Viola Davis is an Academy Award nominated actress who became a household name after appearing in the film, The Help.  She now graces the screen in the movie Prisoners. She recently sat down with Essence Magazine and shared her struggle with accepting herself, including her own definition of what it means to truly be beautiful.

“I have never felt pretty,” she told Essence editor-in-chief, Vanessa K. Bush.

Davis went on to describe a community where she felt alienated and isolated because of her skin color and looks. Unfortunately, she internalized the opinions of others and began to think negatively about  herself.

“In fact, I embraced being ugly,” she said.  Yet, she never let that deter her from wanting and believing in more. “Without hope, I would be dead” she added.

Rather than honing in on external factors that she could not control, she decided to look inward and work on improving her overall attitude and outlook on life.  Acting became cathartic and a way for her to truly express her innermost gifts and talents.

“My career has gotten to a certain point where I have a certain semblance of power. That power has allowed me to work through it,” she said.

One of the outward signs of that internal acceptance was Davis fully displaying her natural hair. In an industry that is full of extensions, weaves, wigs and buns, Davis realized that she could no longer hide who she really was and wanted to be.

“I was begging to be loved, [and] got tired,” she said about the wigs. She noted that she had a  “jacuzzi wig” and “post-jacuzzi wig” which ultimately “came to be seen as a crutch.”

In a society that seems to embrace that which is superficial, it is refreshing to see a star of Viola Davis’ magnitude open up about the reality of Black beauty.