Among the demographics celebrated by the beauty industry, darker-skinned and older women have historically been ignored. While the marginalization of darker skin has been dramatically shifting in recent years (thanks to Fenty Beauty, among others), the industry has been significantly slower to embrace aging as a facet of beauty.
But as both the fashion and beauty industries have been making strides toward more inclusion, L’Oréal has been one of the brands leading the charge, adding well-known over-50 faces like Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Helen Mirren, and Celine Dion to its cadre of brand ambassadors in recent years—and now, the brand is adding some much-needed melanin to the mix, as Viola Davis becomes the brand’s newest face.
L’Oréal proudly announced its newest ambassador on Tuesday, subsequently releasing a series of Insta-ready clips of Davis discussing the impact she hopes to have upon the beauty industry and beyond.
Speaking with Vogue about her latest win, Davis was candid about finding her own self-worth as she came of age, and while working within an industry seemingly intent on excluding women like her from its ideals of beauty.
As a young girl, I wasn’t always told that I was smart, beautiful or worthy. I worked tremendously hard to get where I am today—overcoming feelings of doubt to become a woman who truly believes I am ‘worth it’ in every way. I believe it’s so important to build confidence in women from a young age, and to role model diverse perspectives of beauty. To now be a part of a brand that has been championing women’s worth for more than 40 years and to use my voice to help empower others is truly surreal.
What’s real? That Davis—and the millions of women and girls who look like her—have always been worth it.