By Gail Davis-Carter
Viola Davis, is a powerful woman with a bold statement. Viola Davis appeared onstage with Joy Reid at the Women in the World Conference. They shared about everything from soup to nuts. The past year of 2017 to 2018 shall be deemed the year of “Authenticity”.
As Joy Reid and Viola began to talk, they focused on a particular scene from her television show, How To Get Away With Murder, where she removed her wig to reveal her natural short hair and removed her makeup. This was a pivotal moment for her character’s role. For Viola, it was important that her audience experienced the humanity of her character She wanted people to resonate with the everyday woman. What a woman does after she comes home from a hard day’s work to unwind. As a woman of color, she shared the public is used to seeing either a very light complexioned person of color with is perceived as a shapely body in love scenes. Not a woman of color, who as she expressed “is darker than a brown paper bag” being seen as sexy, sensitive or in a love scene. No the public is used to viewing that kind of woman in a maid’s uniform. Something she feels has become the norm in Hollywood and their audience.
She is out to shift the mindset of society on how all women are viewed, not simply women of color. Let women see themselves as they really are and accept all parts of themselves. Unfortunately she feels not everyone is able to do this in the industry. She has paid her dues behind and in front of the camera. She knows there is a high degree of nepotism in the industry. So with her influence she is poised to take on characters that all people resonate with.
Creativity in film gives us the perspective of how we see ourselves. We often make the mistake of chasing celebrities as though they have something we do not. If we realized how beautiful we are, we would connect rather than pursue outside of ourselves whats already within.