Here’s Why Viola Davis’s Oscar Hairdo Was Such A Big Deal

Viola Davis may not have walked away with the Oscar for Best Actress Sunday night, but as far as we’re concerned her decision to wear her hair natural — and not relaxed or covered up by a wig or otherwise processed — makes her the award show’s biggest winner.

Because in a sea of women who had been plucked and waxed and maquillaged to within an inch of their lives, Davis and her short and powerfully curly hair stood out as a beautiful example of just how good you can look when you leave your hair the hell alone. Davis, who was nominated for her performance in The Help, tends to wear wigs for her movie roles and on the red carpet, but her husband actor Julius Tennon has been campaigning behind the scenes for her to start wearing her natural hair when she’s not making a movie. She did just that when she appeared on the cover of the Los Angeles Times Fashion Magazine earlier this month, and at the Essence Black Women In Hollywood luncheon last week. The third time, at the Academy Awards, turned out to be a real charm.

Davis told Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet that her mother did her hair, and we think its natural red-brown color perfectly complements the deep green of the custom Vera Wang gown she wore. But more than just looking great, it sent a clear and powerful message to the world — and to the scores of Black women and girls who have their hair chemically processed year in and year out — that it’s perfectly OK to let your hair be just what it is. The Oscars is without a doubt the most visible entertainment event of the year, and we’re glad that Davis took such a vital opportunity to make such an important statement.

Check out how good she looks below.


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