Tia Mowry is speaking out about how beauty standards during her Sister, Sister days almost made her her fall out of love with her natural hair.
In an essay for Elle, the 42-year-old actress reflected on how comments about her “distracting” hair chipped away at her and twin sister Tamera Mowry‘s confidence.
“When we were younger, it was wonderful being able to wear our natural hair. People were always like, ‘Oh, you’re so cute. We love your curls,"” wrote Tia. “But as we went into adulthood—you could see that when we became teenagers in the show, we ended up straightening our hair. It was such a pivotal moment in the series because it was also a reflection of what was being pushed as ‘beautiful’ in society.”
The Game alum said the process “damaged my hair and it damaged my natural curls” but she continued to do it because, “If I had my hair curly, I was told, ‘Can you pull that back?’ On auditions, I was told, ‘It’s distracting."”
“We didn’t understand that we were experiencing all of this kickback,” she lamented. “What that rejection did was create a lot of insecurity.”
“It made us feel like we weren’t valuable in that space. Like we weren’t valuable at all,” the actress furthered.
Tia credits her mother, Darlene Mowry, for inspiring her and her sister to embrace their natural beauty, which she says stopped them from “falling into the pit of childhood stardom.”
Now, she celebrates her curls and wrote, “Black beauty to me is being unapologetic. It means strong. It means bold. It means confidence. It means beautiful.”
“When you are a minority, you have to see the lack of diversity being pushed in beauty and you have to have those qualities of being unapologetic,” she expressed.
By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.