Academy Award nominations were announced on Monday and along with announcements came new history to recognize—and it’s another win for Black women. Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson became the first Black women to be nominated for makeup and hairstyling since the categories inclusion in 1981. The two worked in tandem for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom as stylists for Oscar winner Viola Davis.
Neal, who worked on 2019’s hit Uncut Gems, had this to say about the tremendous honor, “I am overwhelmed with gratitude to be honored by such a prestigious committee. To be with Jamika and for us to be the first African Americans nominated in this category is overwhelming. I have to raise my expectations for myself because this was something I never thought that I could achieve.”
Wilson, also floored by the significance of the nomination, said, “The recognition of my art and talent by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is bigger than me. It is for every young hairstylist who dreams beyond the salon chair to work on a motion picture set. It is for the young child who tells their parent they want to be a hairstylist to receive a response of ‘That’s not a real career.’ The nomination is validation that hair styling is an art form, a craft, and a skill. It also shows every Black woman or man doing hair that we can achieve, and importantly that our talent and skill is equal and exceptional.”
The pair hope to cement themselves in history books when the ceremony airs on April 25th by taking home the gold. Win or lose; they’ve already broken down a barrier!