As Dawn Chambers, the first black employee/secretary of Sterling Draper Pryce Cooper on Mad Men, Teyonah Parris’s role was thought to be just a one time deal, due to secrecy reasons but the actress kept on getting asked to do more scenes.
And Teyonah recently talked Bright Idea’s Magazine about the natural hair behind the wigs she rocks on Mad Men.
Parris doesn’t rock a weave anymore, and talks passionately about her journey to becoming a “natural girl”—no longer using chemicals to straighten her curls. She realizes now how much it affected her growing up not seeing images of dark-skinned women with untreated hair.
“It wasn’t just changing my hairstyle for me. It was letting go of a lot of stigmas that I didn’t even realize I held,” Parris says. “It’s an emotional and spiritual journey, of letting go of these images that you are told are the standard of beauty and starting to accept who we are and how god made us—and standing and living in that beauty.”