To Discuss: Viola Davis’s Natural Hair

Viola Davis. Photo: FREDERIC J. BROWN/2012 AFP

As soon as Viola Davis stepped onto the red carpet last night, everyone started fussing about her hair, because it was ... hers. Not a wig or a weave, but just her very own hair growing out of her scalp like hair does. Tweets about Viola "going natural" flew around, and everyone gushed about how great it looked (which it did, of course, but not any greater than lots of other actresses'). Some folks even went so far as to call her hair choice "revolutionary" — André Leon Talley called it "groundbreaking." Meanwhile, the Daily Beast wrote that it "instantly lift[ed] the lid from the bubbling pot of anger, judgment, and debate often directed toward African-American women and the varying states of their textured tresses." Goodness! Davis certainly looked lovely, but doesn't this fuss detract from what should be a perfectly normal thing — a talented black woman at the Oscars with her hair the way she likes it?