Bi-racial actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw wants to ensure mixed girls feel represented on film so she makes it a point to keep her natural hair curly in her films.
Mbatha-Raw, who was recently cast in the film “The Cloverfield Paradox”, told Instyle Magazine, “I was quite adamant about showing my natural hair onscreen because I had never really seen anyone with hair like mine in a sci-fi movie. Images are so important, and I thought it was an opportunity for little girls growing up mixed to feel included and see that they can be an astronaut too.”
Director Ava DuVernay felt a similar responsibility with the biracial lead in her latest film “A Wrinkle In Time.” DuVernay told Vulture last month, “Hair is a big deal for black women. There’s the European standard of beauty that we’re all exposed to and bombarded with that says, My hair needs to look like a Caucasian woman’s hair: straight.”
Mbatha-Raw, born to a Black South-African father and an English mother, also struggles with coming to terms with her beauty and the role it plays in her work. “I’ve had to come to terms with the concept of beauty without judging it as a vacuous thing. My image is part of my job, but I’m getting more comfortable with knowing that it doesn’t define who I am or mean that I’m a superficial person. It’s about expressing yourself.”