The Oscars: One Step forward for Natural Hair, Two Leaps Forward for Real Bodies

It may be a first. Viola Davis is rocking her short, red fro at the 84th Annual Academy Awards. My question is does it have any significance for me personally or for black women as a whole?

For black women as a whole? Maybe. It is probably the first time a nominee has worn her hair natural. Natural is no longer taboo in Hollywood though. There’s Tracee Ellis Ross, Esperanza Spalding, Corinne Bailey Rae. But those women are all multiracial and have hair far from what your grandma would call “nappy.” This is not true of Viola though. Her hair is short. Its texture more coarse. Your grandma would say nappy. And that is why blogs will herald her. While natural hair seems the rage, there is still less acceptance of coarse, kinky hair and deep brown skin that the beautiful Viola Davis has been blessed with.

Viola Davis

While Viola Davis will get all of the accolades and attention for her hair and stunning green dress, her The Help costar, Octavia Spencer, probably accomplished the bigger fete all awards season.

Octavia Spencer at the 2012 Oscars

Yes, Ms. Spencer showed that knowing and understanding your body type equates to one thing — looking amazing. Every dress she wore this awards season was amazingly fitted, radiated off of her flawless skin, and styled to perfection with the correct accessories and make-up. Also showing what big girls can do with a decent dress this awards season was Melissa McCarthy. Kudos to both of them. And I can not wait to see McCarthy’s clothing line when it comes out. Not only have they proved a fashion point, both women have come across as much more humorous, smart, and charming in interviews than women half their size whom the Oscars have traditionally pandered too. Times seem to be a changing, let’s hope that the evolution continues.

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