Author: Jessica Hadari
Here is a thought provoking conversation from the March 13 2012 FRESH AIR, interview with Terry Gross. Her guest, Viola Davis, was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in “The Help.”
I just love the distinction Viola Davis makes about being “expansive” vs “glamorous” – Just that one part of the interview inspired me to feel into where in my own life I can strive for expansive, instead of glamour. As if “expansive” bears more depth and breadth. I so feel that today, these times are a calling for women to deepen. I feel this for myself.
Also, I love that she talks honestly about the role of black women in entertainment, diversity, etc…
You can hear the entire compelling interview on NPR online along with the entire transcript.
Here's a bite:
DAVIS: Well, you know, that’s – that is another conversation in and of itself…
GROSS: What’s the conversation?
DAVIS: Well, the conversation is how people see me. I can go into an audition, with my makeup and my hair and my lashes and come out with these roles that you say I have.
Which goes into the area of perception, and how people perceive black women of a certain hue, and when I say certain hue, I mean black women who are darker than a paper bag. And I’m a dark-skinned black woman who is 46 years old. And I don’t know about you, but when I go to see movies,
I don’t see a lot of women like me in glamorous roles. Not in any mainstream movies, I don’t see them.
I don’t see a lot of narratives written in roles where a woman who looks like me gets to be beautiful and sexualized and, I don’t know, upwardly mobile, middle-class, funny, quirky. No, it…
GROSS: Are you getting any more of that now or do you think those roles just don’t exist?
DAVIS: I’m seeking them out. I’m seeking out expansive roles. Not so much glamorous roles. Because just because a role is glamorous doesn’t mean it’s good. I’m looking for more expansive story lines, that’s for sure.
DAVIS: And there may be a role or two in there that makes me look more attractive, per se, but it is up to me to seek those out myself. They are not necessarily roles that mainstream Hollywood would necessarily just finance and produce themselves. They wouldn’t. You have to be the instigator. You have to be the catalyst of change. You just do.
Jessica Hadari is the founder of the Miracle Salon and the FEM Talks Alliance of Women Leaders, Educators & Healers.
Passionate about the "self-blossoming woman", for 15 years she has been privileged to lead countless women’s circles. Her greatest love? Watching women transform in the arenas of relationships, divine path and spiritual growth.
Each month she produces the Miracle Salon, a celebrated woman's wisdom networking event, as well as Women's Wisdom & Prayer Circles. Jessica immensely enjoys producing and collaborating around any women's event centered on emotional freedom.
She's a mother, writer, artist, hospice caregiver, master yoga teacher, holistic health practitioner, officiant, unconditional friend and voice of accountability in her Bay Area women’s communities.