Viola Davis is amongst several celebrities who have posed for the 2021 edition of the annual ‘Hollywood’s Finest’ issue for British Vogue.
Davis, star of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” had dome much-needed advice for her younger self: “You’re beautiful, you’re worth it, you’re absolutely right exactly as God made you. Because I spent too many years thinking I was worthless and not pretty enough, good enough or anything enough.”
For years, Davis has remained an outspoke advocate of self-love, a lesson her career in the film industry has forced her to learn.
During an interview with The Guardian in 2018, Davis shared that playing many roles written by white men had a profound impact on the way that she viewed herself. “I get a gag order placed on me. They don’t want to see your liberation, they don’t want to see your mess — they don’t want to see you,” she told the publication.
“I was trying to fit in, stifling my voice, stifling who I was, in order to be seen as pretty, in order for people to like me. And then going home, not being able to sleep and having anxiety. I have found that the labelling of me, and having to fit into that box, has cost me a great deal. I’ve had a lot of lost years.”
In 2012, the Emmy, Oscar and Tony Award-winning actress made a statement when she chose to hit the Oscar’s red carpet in her natural hair.
“It goes back to hiding. It goes into erasure and invisibility and that has its birthplace in systemic racism,” she told Fashion Magazine. “It was projected in culture that [the Black woman] wasn’t pretty, and the darker you were, the uglier you were. And we carry that mentality [as Black women]. We just carry it, even in unforeseen ways,” she continued. “That’s why I wore my natural hair.”
British Vogue’s Hollywood’s Finest issue hits newsstands on March 12.