Viola Davis Has One Rule For Her Daughter Playing Dress-Up, And We Could All Learn From It

"You can be Elsa, but you gotta be Elsa with your hair."

For many children, playing dress-up requires commitment — from head to toe. Sometimes, dressing up as a favorite character may even require wearing a wig. Such is not the case in Viola Davis's household. Davis's daughter Genesis, 6, is only allowed to dress-up as a princess if she wears her natural hair. 

The actress has been a symbol of empowerment for women around the world, so it's no surprise she is passing along the fundamental lessons of self-love and acceptance to her daughter in such a beautiful way.  

Davis told Yahoo Lifestyle that she spent her younger years wishing she had Oprah's hair and Diana Ross's body, but now wants to raise her daughter to have a better sense of self than she did.  The award-winning actress says she is teaching her daughter not "to grow up wanting someone's everything."

While dressing up as a character is about imagination, there is a fine line between imagination and real life; unfortunately the limited imagery of the most popular children's characters can be indirectly damaging a child's self-esteem. When a Black child wants to dress-up as a White Disney princess who has long blonde hair, the situation can be challenging. 

"I really push it. I push it," explained Davis on how she convinces her daughter to wear her natural hair with her costumes. "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' husband, Julius Tennon, is also onboard with the natural movement. It was his encouragement that inspired Davis's iconic red carpet moment when she attended the 2012 Oscars sporting her natural tightly coiled curls. "My husband wanted me to take the wig off," Davis revealed to  InStyle. "He said, 'If you want to wear it for your career, that's fine, but in your life wear your hair. Step into who you are!' It's a powerful statement."

 Jaguar PS / Shutterstock

The natural hair community has flourished over the last few years, redefining the standards of beauty and also influencing the way parents raise children with textured hair.  There are countless stories of women who've returned to their natural roots after wearing chemically relaxed hair for years, who would never dream of straightening their children's hair now. Along with Davis, other celebrities moms like Beyoncé Knowles, Halle Berry, Tia Mowry, and Kim Kardashian have encouraged their children to embrace their natural curls.  

Davis is doing her part in helping all little Black girls embrace their beauty. Her illustrated children's books  I Love My Cotton Candy Hair and I Like Myself! feature powerful imagery of little girl characters with black and brown skin and curly, kinky hair. 

(H/T Yahoo Lifestyle)

Cover photo via DFree I Shutterstock


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