As I flip through the channels on the television I am beginning to find more women that have hair like me. TV shows and commercials are showing more women with their natural hair, and I am loving it. It is no hidden secret that over the years society has placed a higher level of beauty on woman with long straight hair. While I agree that straight hair is beautiful, I feel that naturally curly hair is just as equal in beauty. Here are five celebrities that are breaking down hair beauty standards on TV, and wearing their natural hair with confidence and pride (see our previous article on other celebs on TV too).
If you haven’t watched Westworld on HBO you’re truly missing out! Think the Wild Wild West meets Jurassic Park. With an uber talented cast, it’s no surprise that movie A-lister Thandie Newton gives a stand out performance as character Maeve Millay, a sexy and quick witted saloon madame who is a force to be reckoned with. Not only is her acting top notch but her hair and body have never looked better. It’s encouraging to see that even in the setting of the Wild West her curls can roam free. Viewers are anxiously awaiting to see what season two has in store for Maeve.
Whether I see Teyonah Parris on the red carpet or in an instagram photo her hair is always on point. Her social media is filled with gawking pictures of her hair in twist outs, braids, afros, and fro hawks. She exudes confidence, and does a perfect job of showing how versatile natural hair can really be. During the second season of Survivors Remorse Teyonah’s character Missy decided that she wanted to stop getting relaxers, and did the big chop on her hair. Missy’s experience shed light on the raw emotions that go along with the process of doing the big chop, as well as the reaction and possible judgements that can come from a significant other and family members.
Tracie Ellis Ross
Tracee Ellis Ross has been the hair crush to many naturals including myself for years. There is a well known joke in the natural hair community that newbie naturals get Tracee Ellis Ross (TER) syndrome, which is when one hopes that their hair is grow out to look exactly like Tracee’s hair. On the show Blackish Tracies character Rainbow is very free and stylish in the hairstyles that she wears to work, and around the house. As naturals we are often shamed into believing that a lot of natural hair styles are less professional than others, and that there are only certain types of styles deemed appropriate for the workplace. Rainbow shatters all stereotypes of that because even though she is a doctor her character has an undeniable comfort in wearing her natural hair however she wants, whenever she wants.
Zazie Beetz Is most known for her role as Vanessa (Van) on the new show Atlanta created by Donald Glover. Every episode I find myself waiting in anticipation of how she is going to wear her hair, and proudly praise her for whatever style she reveals. During the pilot episode while Van is on her way into the bathroom she takes off her headscarf and reveals her Bantu Knots. This scene is everything! The headscarf, her natural hair, and her Bantu Knots are all things that we can identify with as women with natural hair. It depicts the reality of our daily routine in maintaining our natural hair, and is something that is rarely shown on TV. Van validates the beauty, and the struggles we often have with our natural hair. She allows us to just be who we really are without having to explain why.
Issa Rae has been holding it down for the TWA crew since the debut of her Youtube series Awkward Black Girl (AWB) in 2011. Prior to the first episode launching Issa decided to cut all of her hair off and reveal her bald head during the trailer of the ABG show. Since than she has now began to let her hair grow out, and experiment with different hair styles that are shown on her new HBO series Insecure. Issa has authentically shown the process of feeling awkward in certain hair stages, and later it blossoming into something beautiful that you can become confident and proud of.
Yara Shahidi has one of the dopest styles for a 16 year old currently on TV right now. She like Tracie Ellis Ross also stars on the TV show Blackish as Trace (Rainbow) and Anthony Anderson’s (Dre) daughter Zoey. Zoey is a typical sassy, smart, stylish teenager, with flawless hair. Zoey she is always down to try a new style, and is not afraid to have fun with her hair.
Before we get to the hair talk, can we just take a minute to acknowledge how fine Nova’s boyfriend is on the show?! Okay, now that that’s out of the way, we all know and love Rutina Wesley for her breakout role in the HBO hit series True Blood as Tara Thornton, but Wesley stole the show on OWN’s newest network series Queen Sugar.
Now let’s talk about Nova’s hair this season, I mean seriously how amazing are her faux locs?! They’re on point in every scene. Whether it’s an updo, half up half down or a wrap, her locs are the epitome of perfection. It’s also a pleasure to see a complex black character who doesn’t fit the typical stereotype of a black woman. Rutina’s character Nova is strong, vulnerable, passionate, and flawed all while being likeable! Something we dont see too often on TV. We are all looking forward to seeing what Nova and her family are up to in season two.
*Main Photo Credit: Vanity Fair