When you’re a kid, dressing up is a big part of playing pretend. Costumes let you become someone else who might live in a magical world filled with magic or superpowers.
However, when Viola Davis’s daughter, Genesis Tennon, wants to dress up as some of her favourite characters, Davis has one rule for her daughter that we think is super empowering: She has to wear her natural hair.
Black girls face discrimination as young as five years old, says new study “I really push it. I push it,” said Davis in an interview with Yahoo Lifestyle. “I say, ‘You gotta wear your hair exactly the way it is. You can be Wonder Woman, but you gotta be Wonder Woman with your hair. You can be Elsa, but you gotta be Elsa with your hair.’” For Davis, this simple-yet-powerful rule is especially important when Genesis wants to dress up as characters who are white.
“You can do all of that stuff if you start with the palette of loving who you are,” Davis said she tells her daughter. She said she remembers growing up uncomfortable in her own body and that it took her a while to come into her own. Now that she’s a mom, she doesn’t want Genesis to grow up “wanting someone’s everything,” which is a message of self-love and acceptance that we totally agree with.
Luckily, it seems like Genesis doesn’t mind the rule, and why should she? Take a look at this throwback that Davis posted on her Instagram earlier this year. Genesis is rocking this Wonder Woman outfit with the crown nestled snugly into her curly locks. You go girl!