After Solange Knowles and Lupita Nyong’o called out the magazine industry recently for photoshopping their hair, narrating stories of black evolution in beauty and fashion is a huge topic right now…
I really just want young women to really get that natural is beautiful. As a young women if you hear that a magazine is altering the natural state of a woman’s hair…I think you just need to be woke about it and specifically beauty alteration of women of colour. For me it says like: ‘Okay, why isn’t this natural good enough? Because I definitely think it is.’ It’s really interesting – being in Los Angeles and having curly hair is an identifier for me. Like, it’s archetype here as a dancer. “She has curly hair, so we’ll put her in this group, and we’ll have all these girls dancing…” So for me, when Rihanna shaved my head it was like a reclaiming of my body. And of my identity, outside of this particular pool of dancers that have curly hair X, Y, Z… It was like ‘No! I’m gonna work and dance of my own accord and sense of identity.” You know, we’re just talking about hair but as a woman we’re in a lot of ways conditioned to have our hair, or be a representative of how well we take care of ourselves of a feminine nature.
How would you describe your day-to-day style?
In the last two years it’s been a lot of t-shirts and baggy pants! I dressed based on how much I have to move. One of the things I learned from Pharrell is there’s really nothing you can’t do. Favourite brands? I wear a lot of vintage mens Levi’s jeans from a $10 rack I don’t try on. I’ll get back home and think ‘that looks kind of odd there, but that makes it.’ I honestly don’t shop that much, I steal a lot of clothes from my brother!
What are you looking forward to most in 2018?
I think you’ll see me continue to dance as the N.E.R.D. album is released and I’m looking into acting and performing more too. My dream part? Just strong, female, protagonist roles. I want to explore who I am as woman through those roles and what I can be for young women. And women of all ages really. That’s important to me.