Her Character Was Only Supposed To Remove Her Makeup Before Bed. Then Viola Davis Made It Real.
This powerful scene from ABC's "How to Get Away With Murder" hit me on so many levels. But hearing the story behind it from actress Viola Davis makes me love it that much more.
So why's this scene such a big deal? Well, as a woman of color who proudly rocks her natural hair, I think it's important for a few reasons.
First off, these days there are very few black women on TV wearing their natural hair. That's not to say there's anything wrong with wearing a wig or a weave or having a chemical relaxer, but it's pretty much the norm for black women in Hollywood.
Second, there's a long, complicated history of black women being told by society that their natural hair is unprofessional, ugly, distracting, and a whole host of other insults. There are even companies and schools that have regulations against natural hairstyles, including the U.S. military!
And lastly, in recent years Viola Davis has opened up about her struggle to embrace her natural hair after struggling with alopecia. (I told you there were layers to this awesome scene!) So as much as I'd love to see Viola Davis rock her beautiful fro full time on "How to Get Away With Murder," it's huge that she was able to bring some honesty to the scene by taking her wig off and revealing her and her character's true self. Sure, it's a fictional primetime drama, but that moment made it so incredibly real. Now somebody get Viola Davis an Emmy! Stat!
And in case you missed the scene, check out the clip for yourself (caution — there's a big show spoiler after her husband comes in!):