Actress Teyonah Parris says she’s made the conscious decision to wear her natural hair. especially on-screen, to help Black women feel seen. The NAACP Image Award winner has sported her natural hair in every role for at least 10 years, According to The Wrap.
“I’ve been very intentional for maybe a little over a decade now about making sure that as a Black woman, and as Black women, we feel seen in these spaces. Just how we are. How are we naturally are.” Parris told TheWrap. “If that’s curly hair, kinky hair, whatever that is, I want to be a part of normalizing our existence as it is,” she continued.
“It’s great, though, and it’s different for the men,” Boyega told the publication. “It’s much more complicated and harder for the women. So to see that, and to see members of my family also be the beneficiaries of characters like that. It’s just something that’s inspirational to me to be there.”
“They Cloned Tyrone” is Boyega’s feature film directorial debut. In addition to Parris, the film also stars Jamie Foxx. It is now playing in select theaters and streaming on Netflix.
Learning to Love Her Natural Hair
Parris wasn’t always “in love” with her hair. The actress admitted in a 2014 interview with the HuffPost that she even cried over her natural hair when she started growing it out.
“I cried, I cried. I was not used to seeing myself like that, I did not want to walk outside…My [friend]…had to literally come over to my house and walk me outside because it was such an emotional experience and it wasn’t just about hair,” Parris explained. “It was what my perception of beauty was and had been for all of my life and then I look at myself in the mirror and I’m like, ‘That doesn’t look like what I thought was beautiful.'”
Parris is thankful for the people she’s worked with who understand why she wants to wear her natural hair continuously.
“I’ve been very blessed to be able to work with storytellers, directors, who could also stand behind that, and are like, ‘Yeah, sure, why wouldn’t she or couldn’t she have natural hair?'” she said. “So to play Monica Rambeau, who is a Black female superhero, chocolate skin, big natural hair — it was like, ‘We’re going to do this right, and we’re going to do it well.’ I’ve definitely had support with making sure that intention and care was given to bringing that image to the screen.”