Academy-award winning actress Viola Davis knows firsthand how wigs and costumes can help a person get into character, but she also knows how damaging it can be for a kid to grow up not seeing the beauty in their own reflection.
That’s why she has one rule when her six-year-old daughter, Genesis, wants to play dress-up: Wear your own hair.
“I say, ‘You gotta wear your hair exactly the way it is. 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,” Davis told Yahoo Lifestyle.
The Suicide Squad star has been vocal about the journey she’s been on with her own natural hair. After a bout of stress-related alopecia in her twenties, the actress started wearing wigs pretty much 24/7. “I wore a wig in the Jacuzzi. I had a wig I wore around the house. I had a wig that I wore to events,” she told Vulture. “I had a wig that I wore when I worked out.”
Davis eventually realized her wigs were a crutch, not an enhancement, and in 2012 she walked the red carpet at the Oscars without one.
“I had to be liberated from that to a certain extent,” she said. These days, Davis wears wigs when she wants to, not because she feels she has to.
She says her own childhood would have been completely different if someone had told her that she was enough, and that’s what she’s trying to tell Genesis when she suggests she wear her own, natural, hair, when she’s dressing up.
Davis told Yahoo Lifestyle she spent years wishing she had Oprah’s hair and Diana Ross’ body, but hopes that by encouraging Genesis to see her own hair as beautiful, she can raise her girl not “to grow up wanting someone’s everything.”