Viola Davis is a trailblazer in Hollywood — and not just for her ground-breaking roles. Authentically embracing herself at all times, the actress has been instrumental in redefining beauty standards in a male-dominated, predominantly Caucasian industry. And now she’s hoping to instill that same sense of self in her 6-year-old daughter, Genesis.
Davis is all about encouraging women to love themselves and accept their natural beauty with her inspirational words. The 52-year-old mother says she understands that young girls look to Disney princesses or comic book superheroes as role-models, but she wants to make sure her daughter doesn’t lose sight of her own identity while emulating these often white characters.
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Davis told Yahoo Lifestyle that when she was younger she found herself wanting Oprah’s hair and Diana Ross’ body so she is teaching Genesis not to “grow up wanting someone’s everything.” But when Genesis’ favorite Disney princesses or superheroes don’t look like her, Davis finds it challenging to ensure her daughter continues to love herself just the way she is.
The Oscar-winning actress does so by encouraging Genesis to always wear her hair natural when dressing up—”I really push it. I push it,” she told Yahoo Lifestyle. “You can do all of that stuff if you start with the palette of loving who you are.”
Davis allows Genesis to dress up as whoever she wants as long as she doesn’t change her natural hair or wear a wig. “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,’” she said.
Even though Davis has achieved a newfound confidence around her natural beauty — she walked the 2012 Oscars red carpet embracing her natural locks — she still wishes someone would’ve told her she was enough when she was younger. “If someone had told me that just time and time again … oh, my God! I would’ve had a completely different childhood. And my childhood was good, even with all the pain and poverty. But it would’ve been even better,” she said.
What do you think of Davis’ approach to letting her daughter dress up? Sound off in the comments below!