Tia Mowry-Hardict is opening up about the ups and downs of growing up in Hollywood as a Black actress and her experiences weren’t all glitz and glam. On her new web series, Tia Mowry’s Quick Fix, Mowry-Hardict opened up about not getting equal pay, being insecure and even being told she wasn’t Black enough for certain roles. She said that when she would audition, she would be encouraged to play a Latina character.
“I’ve been told I’m not Black enough, which was very odd and weird to me,” she said according to People. “‘You don’t look Black enough. I think you would fit more of the Latino role.’ It’s like, what? These were casting directors who did not understand the different shades of Black culture.”
Even though she was taken aback, she said that kind of feedback made her work harder.
“How I was treated is why I built my work ethic,” she said. “Nothing came easy to me. I always had to work harder than. I’ve always had to be better than average. And I guess if I didn’t go through what I had gone through or if I didn’t see what I had seen when I was a child, I don’t think I would be where I am today, which is a hard freaking worker. Because guess what? It’s hard to outwork someone.”
During her years as a child star, the mother-of-two also shared that natural hair wasn’t deemed beautiful, so she became self-conscious about her naturally curly hair.
“When I was doing Sister, Sister, I had curly hair and what was interesting was once my sister and I got older and we wanted to be viewed as ‘sexy,’ we would straighten our hair. I went on to do so many other television shows and I would always wear my hair straight because I was insecure about my curly hair. These insecurities came because I didn’t see these images, meaning women with curly hair and their natural hair, being portrayed as beautiful.”
Besides having her Blackness insulted and feeling insecure, she and her sister also didn’t get equal pay.