Actor/producer/screenwriter Lena Waithe is a gamechanger. In 2017, she became the first black woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. And she did it writing a Master of None ep inspired in part by her own story of coming out to her mother. Since then, she’s created her own Showtime series, The Chi, co-starred in the big-budget Steven Spielberg movie Ready Player One, slayed at the Met Gala, and scored the cover of Vanity Fair. Months later, she’s cut off the long dreadlocks that have long been a part of her image. And she has a pretty fantastic reason why.
Here’s her video interview with Variety:
“I’m very much a lesbian, okay?” Waithe says of the haircut, “I’ve gotten gayer, guys.”
Asked why she cut it all off, Waithe offered:
One: I’ve been thinking about it for a while. And I think—if I can get deep with you—I felt like I was holding onto a piece of femininity that would make the world feel comfortable with who I am. And I think I thought for a long time, ‘Well, if I cut my hair, I’ll be a stud.’—You know in the gay world, there’s a lot of categories—But ‘I’ll be a stud or I’ll be a butch.’ And I always thought I’m not that. I’m so soft. And I said, ‘Oh. I got to put that down. Because that is something that is outside of me.’ I just said, ‘I’m going to do it.’ And I cut it. And I felt so free, and so happy, and so joyful. And I really stepped into myself. And if people call me a butch or say ‘she’s stud,’ or they call me ‘sir’ out in the world, so what? So be it. You know what I mean? And I’m here with a Prada suit on, not a stitch of make-up, and a haircut. I feel like, why can’t I exist in the world in that way?
I know this is a petty thing to get hung up on, when Waithe is making outstanding arguments about how we shouldn’t let fear of the world’s labels limit our self-expression. But can we take a moment to recognize how amazing Waithe looks without a stitch of make-up! Whatever labels may be applied to her, one shall always be “flawless.”
Header Image Source: Getty