In between being nominated for all the acting awards and being a damn inspiration, Viola Davis spends a fair amount of time going to bat for women of color. She did at last year’s Oscars, at the 2015 Emmys, and she did it again this afternoon by sharing a very important rule she has for her daughter.
We all know that women of color face discrimination everyday—from the workplace to the makeup counter—and Davis never allows a moment of personal achievement to pass without reminding the world of this imbalance. Still, at the same, she celebrates the power of black women (see the straight up transcendence of any one of her acceptance speeches). So it’s not surprising that she brings the same fire and fierce affection for blackness to raising her daughter. When it comes to playing dress up, Genesis, age 6, is given the full range of Disney princesses and superheroes to choose from, but Davis draws one line.
“I say, ‘You’ve gotta wear your hair exactly the way it is,” Davis told Yahoo Lifestyle. “You can be Wonder Woman, but you gotta be Wonder Woman with your hair. You can be Elsa, but you gotta be Elsa with your hair.’”
The news is run through with stories detailing the obstacles that women of color face simply for living life with natural hair and this uncomfortable truth makes Davis’s rule all the more meaningful. She goes on to explain that she tells her daughter she can be anyone she wants, “if you start with the palette of loving who you are.” Cue total and absolute sense of affirmation.
Judging by Davis’s throwback Instagram post below, this rule has been in place for some time.
And judging by this Instagram post, it’s giving Genesis a sense of self-worth that is truly exceptional:
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