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Actress Thandie Newton, who has a white British father and a black Zimbabwean mother, grew up as one of the few children of color in Penzance, Cornwall. Newton has been a huge supporter of the natural hair movement and an outspoken advocate for diverse images of beautiful women. She recently recounted, to The Telegraph, the time her hairstyle was rejected as a child.
“I remember getting ready for class photos when I was six or seven. My mum braided my hair – for her it was the neatest, prettiest style, the equivalent of having your hair freshly cut and styled,” she said.
“I went to the best school in town, which was run by nuns, and they wouldn’t let me have my photo taken because of my hair. I think they thought it was a bit ‘ghetto’. It was absolutely not ‘ghetto’.
“The next day my mum went into the school. I don’t know what was said, but I had my photo taken.”
“There were layers and layers of low self-esteem attached to these early experiences.”