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Dublin: 5 °C Monday 25 March, 2019

Lena Waithe avoided cutting her hair because she wanted 'the world to feel comfortable' with her

Lena opened up about her decision to shave her head.

IN AN EXCEPTIONALLY candid red carpet interview at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s grants banquet in Beverley Hills last week, Lena Waithe revealed why she chose to shave her head last month.

New tings. Cut by : @barberdolltheslayer

A post shared by Lena Waithe (@lenawaithe) on

The 34-year-old, who created and starred in hit Netflix show Master Of None, told Variety that she had always avoided cutting her hair as she didn’t want members of the public to categorise her within the gay community.

Simply put, Lena, who got engaged to her girlfriend Alana Mayo in November last year, felt that having long hair protected her against certain labels, and ultimately helped her to secure acceptance with the wider public.

I’ve been thinking about it for a while. I felt like I was holding onto a piece of femininity that would make the world feel comfortable with who I am.

2018 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Grants Banquet - Arrivals Source: Richard Shotwell

After elaborating on why she avoided cutting her hair for so long, Lena said she then realised that she couldn’t let external factors dictate how she presented herself to the world.

I think I thought for a long time, ‘Oh, if I cut my hair, I’ll be a stud, I’ll be—in the gay world, there’s a lot of categories—I’ll be a stud or I’ll be a butch,’ and I’ve always thought, ‘Well, no, I’m not that, I’m still soft,’ and I said, ‘Oh, I gotta put that down ’cause that’s something that is outside of me.’

MTV Movie And TV Awards 2018 - Arrivals - Los Angeles Source: Francis Specker/PA Images

The actress and producer, who made history for becoming the first black woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, said she refused to take heed of labels that could have been levelled at her in the weeks following her decision to shave her head.

And I said ‘I’m going to do it and I cut it and I felt so free, so happy, so joyful and I really stepped into myself. And if people call me a butch or say ‘she’s stud’ or call me ‘sir’ out in the world—so what? So be it.

Lena’s words really resonated with Twitter users in the days that followed her interview with Variety.

PastedImage-57478 Source: KBated/Twitter

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Niamh McClelland

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