Yes, Please! Viola Davis, 54, named L'Oréal Paris' new brand ambassador
Article By Octavia Hall // EEW Magazine // Women
Not every empowered woman of color reaches the heights of visibility that Viola Davis has achieved, but when they do, it is a special treat.
This week, it was announced that the 54-year-old Academy Award-winning actress is the new face of L’Oréal Paris, and we say yes, please! We are here for it all.
“It feels surreal,” Davis said in an interview with PEOPLE. “I never thought that I could be an international spokesperson for L’Oréal. The fact that I am, it feels like my life has come full circle.”
Similar to many women of color, growing up, the Fences star did not feel seen or represented in the limiting images of the media. But as L’Oréal's latest spokesperson, she is bringing melanin magic mainstream.
The “How to Get Away with Murder” actress said, “When I thought of beauty and femininity when I was a young scrappy girl growing up in Central Falls, Rhode Island, I didn’t associate it with myself. I didn’t think that I had all those attributes that women who are seen like that should have.”
But now that she is evolving in her thinking, she is recognizing her “It factor,” and is helping little black girls—and grown women of every hue— recognize their own unique beauty.
"As a young girl, I wasn't always told that I was smart, beautiful, or worthy. I worked tremendously hard to get where I am today – overcoming feelings of doubt to become a woman who truly believes I am 'worth it' in every way,” she said in a statement obtained by EEW Magazine Online. “I believe it's so important to build confidence in women from a young age, and to role model diverse perspectives of beauty.”
Though Davis is riding high now, she can still relate to women struggling in the area of self-confidence. "There are so many obstacles and roadblocks that tell you, you aren’t enough," said Davis, according to Marie Clare. "I have spent the greater portion of my life looking at so many images of women who did not see their worth. So, I mirrored their behavior until I hit a wall and realized that I lived half of my life like I didn’t have value."
But not anymore.
The wife and mother is driving home a positive message to women, telling them, "You were born worthy, and there’s nothing you have to earn to be worthy.”
Davis spent most of her early life on stage, honing her craft with a theater degree from Rhode Island College followed by four years at Julliard. Since then, she has been paving her way for over 30 years, with powerful performances on Broadway, in film, and on television. Today, an acclaimed actress and the first black actor to do so, she has won the "Triple Crown" of acting, which includes an Academy Award, an Emmy Award, and a Tony Award.
“I fought and survived a really dramatic childhood,” she said. But despite all that, “I’m still able to inject the world with a semblance of love, kindness, and philanthropy. I have a daughter who I’m now teaching about worth, and a husband who I know loves me. I’m getting better and better."