Shocked, yet not surprised!
Monique Coleman speaks out on the headbands that her character Taylor sported in “High School Musical.” It was much. more than an accessory.
“We’ve grown a lot in this industry and we’ve grown a lot in representation and we’ve grown a lot in terms of understanding the needs of an African American actress,” said Coleman.
The 40-year-old actress recalls that her character, Taylor McKessie, in the Disney film franchise wore headbands because the crew had no idea how to style Black hair.
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“Truth is, is that they had done my hair, and they [have] done it very poorly in the front,” she said in a recent interview with Insider to celebrate the film’s 15th anniversary.
There was no time to fix the nightmare created by the stylist, Coleman suggested that they “incorporate headbands into her character,” and to “just make it a part of who she is.”
Luckily (but not really) Disney was receptive to the feedback. Thanks to her suggestion, the character was rarely seen onscreen without a headband to match her outfit.
Coleman says despite the woes in the hair department, portraying the role of Taylor allowed other young women of color to see her as a role model.
“I’m really grateful to have been someone who was able to bring representation at a time where there wasn’t very much, and I’m so happy when I see this next generation of young artists and there just being so much more room for people of color,” Coleman continued.
She also loved the fact that her character was the smartest in the school.
“It means the world to me, particularly because Taylor is such a dynamic character and the smartest person at school and all of that at a time where, often, black girl characters tended to be the ones who had an attitude or to be sassy.”
— Disney+ (@disneyplus) January 26, 2021
How much has Hollywood grown when it comes to supporting Black actresses?
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