Tia Mowry-Hardrict Opens Up About Facing Hair Discrimination in Powerful New Essay

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Tia Mowry-Hardrict is fully embracing her natural curls—no thanks to the entertainment industry.

In her latest piece for Elle's State of Black Beauty, the Family Reunion star revealed that she and her sister, Tamera Mowry-Housely, dealt with hair discrimination during their Sister, Sister days, and it wound up having a negative impact on their self-image.

She wrote, "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.' 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."

Mowry-Hardrict also revealed that the pressure to straighten her curls bred a lot of insecurity. She continued, "When I straightened my hair, it damaged my hair and it damaged my natural curls. Again, there were those insecurities. In this business, if I had my hair curly, I was told, 'Can you pull that back?' On auditions, I was told, 'It's distracting.'"

Fortunately, the actress and her twin had their mother to encourage them. She said, "I thank God that my mom told us, 'Do not allow this business to define you. Do not allow this business to define your happiness. Do not allow this business to define your value.' I believe that's what saved us from falling into the pit of childhood stardom."

Throughout quarantine, the mother of two has been sharing a number of stunning Instagram snaps that feature her natural curls and protective styles. For example, in October, Mowry-Hardrict shared a pic of her hair and proudly captioned the post, "Y’all my #fro is growing!! #naturalhair."

While discussing how she's grown in her essay, she revealed, "My relationship with beauty really evolved after having my children. When I'm 50 or 60 pounds bigger, I am still beautiful. Losing weight after having the baby is still beautiful. When you're younger, you have insecurities about who you are and where you stand, but now I'm very unapologetic. I'm like, 'This is who I am. I love every part of me.'"

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Nakeisha Campbell

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...
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