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With all eyes on Viola Davis Oscar night, the acclaimed actress made a bold statement. Viola abandoned the curly cropped wigs she’s sported all awards season and rocked her natural hair.

Her emerald green Vera Wang gown was complimented regally by a bite-sized sun-kissed fro. Viola said it was her husband who encouraged her to ditch the wig. She told InStyle: “My husband wanted me to take the wig off. 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.”

Viola’s powerful statement instantly became a buzzworthy topic on the red carpet and Internet. Even 72 hours later, Viola’s copper coif is still a trending topic. But is it really that big of a deal? Absolutely! When it comes to black women, hair will always be a big deal and that’s evident in the billions of dollars we’ve invested in the hair industry. When you hear your girlfriends scream “it’s just hair,” remind them of the time and money they’ve spent on keep their hair in check. That clearly shows it’s a priority and the racial and social implications of natural hair add a whole ‘nother layer. Maybe one day we can get to a point when there’s no hoopla surrounded by what should be a normal occurrence: a black woman wearing her natural hair. Until that day comes we’re basking in Viola’s moment to put natural hair in the spotlight.

On Hollywood’s biggest night, Viola showed mainstream America that’s she comfortable enough in her own skin that she doesn’t need long wigs to look and feel beautiful. She also showed other black women who struggled with a love/ hate relationship with their hair that it’s perfectly fine to go au naturel. In a world where wearing long weaves and wigs is not only encouraged but expected, embracing natural hair becomes a challenging and sometimes, terrifying feat. Viola stepped outside of what’s accepted and applauded, that alone takes courage which we applaud. The freedom she gives other actresses and women to embrace their hair is even more commendable.

What do you think of Viola Davis’ hair on Oscar night and what it represents?

-Jamiese Price

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