(Gregg DeGuire / WireImage)
Tracee Ellis Ross recently penned a short essay for Entertainment Weekly, in which she talked about the importance of seeing black women’s natural hair on television.
I think what is important about Viola Davis taking her wig off on How to Get Away With Murder is that it illustrates that there is a mask that women are thought to have to wear. For black women, it can be a more complex mask. Our culture has created a very limited view of what beauty is and can be. I think right now television is one of the places where women are pushing up against that and saying, “You know what? I don’t need to play this game anymore in order to be considered beautiful.”
Some might feel that due to her different texture — Tracee Ellis Ross might not fully understand the struggles of women with kinkier texture. But, last year, after catching wind of a meme circulating that depicted a young girl with 4c hair lamenting that her hair doesn’t look Tracee’s, Ross decided to speak out, in a video posted to YouTube, stating,
I geniunely am honored and tickled and excited by the fact that people like my hair. It’s really nice when people like something about you, especially when they like something that you worked so hard on and used to hate. […] I don’t want you to want my hair. The reason I don’t want you to want my hair is I’m of the school of love what you got. For me, the reason my hair was such a battle was because I was trying to make it something it wasn’t. I wanted the hair that somebody else had. […] I love that you love my hair/But I only love that you love my hair if it’s an inspiration for you to love your hair.