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Why Model Ebonee Davis Chose Natural Hair
Last year, Angolan model Maria Borges made history when she walked within the Victoria’s Secret fashion show along with her natural hair. Ebonee Davis, who recently appeared within the 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, has joined the ranks of black women who’re embracing their natural hair and expanding society’s beauty hair pieces for women with thinning hair standards.
After years of extension adding and consistent hair straightening, the NYC model decided to focus more on the health of her hair and go completely natural. In addition to wanting to undo the years of chemical and heat abuse that she’d inflicted on her tresses, Davis wanted how she wore her hair to be her choice.
Now, lower than a year after the decision to switch up her look, Davis is currently the one black, natural-haired model who you’ll see on Victoria Secret’s website. This year, you can too catch the 23-year-old beauty posing for Calvin Klein, Urban Outfitters, and Teen Vogue sporting her natural curls.
GC: If you decided to go natural, were you met with any resistance out of your agency
ED: I was, initially. I might been represented a certain way for 3 years–with my straight hair. I don’t think my agency was prepared to market me in a new way. They worried it will make me less appealing.
GC: But they were wrong!
ED: They were! (laughs)
GC: Did you ever worry that you simply’d lose clients
ED: Honestly, no. I truly believed the alternative. I think the industry is opening its doors to different looks. None of the choices that I make are arbitrary. Deciding to go natural was something that I considered. I did research. After which I made my decision, and that i stuck with it.
GC: Is there a reason that this transition was especially important to you
ED: It is really all about feeling like you having choice, in every aspect of life. It is not just hair.
GC: So, this wasn’t about making an announcement for you
ED: I don’t think my natural hair says anything about me apart from that I wish to have control over my image. A lot of people associate not wearing weave or straightening your hair with being more enlightened but I don’t agree with that. I’ve straightened my hair and added pieces just a few times since I went natural. I’ve said before, I love my afro but sometimes I need 32-inch wavy Brazilian weave and I’m no less “woke” than I used to be before I got it.
GC: Do you have any specific style influences, right now
ED: I follow plenty of stylists on Instagram and editors of magazines. Two in particular are Julia Sarr Jamois, the senior fashion editor at ID magazine, she dresses really funky and Samira Nasr, she’s a fashion director for Elle. They’re both daring, bold, influential women of color, both natural-haired.
GC: Is being a task model important to you
ED: I need to be a role model for girls but I don’t need it to be about image. I’d modeled my image after so many models within the industry who I looked up to, but my success came when i started doing what felt comfortable for me. I believe it is important for people to seek out their own identities.
GC: You’d wish to be a task model more in terms of character
ED: I need to be someone who encourages people to risks and stick to what you believe in. Be your individual person.
GC: What are some of your goals outside of modeling
ED: As I get older, I’m starting to feel the urge to get entangled more in the neighborhood. I would really like to work with children, specifically young girls, possibly in the area of literacy.
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