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essence atkins says new role helped her heal


Essence Atkins is making new beginnings look beautiful and she literally glowed when she took a few minutes to sit down with the folks over at HelloBeautiful during the McDonald’s 365 Awards at this year’s Essence Festival. The 45-year-old actress talked about wanting to work with Issa Rae, her role on Marlon and how natural hair fits in the images we see on TV today.

When asked about her thoughts on natural hair and if she felt comfortable going into auditions rocking her natural tresses, Atkins said although progress has been made, we definitely have some way to go when it comes to making sure diverse images of beauty are represented in the mainstream:

“I definitely feel like it is definitely becoming…we’re moving in the right direction. However as long as the decision makers still view us in a certain way, I think we still have a bit of a push back in terms of what is conventionally beautiful or what is acceptably beautiful or what is or how we should.  So I think that, you know, as people like Issa Rae come into the picture and Shonda Rimes and we have all of these tastemakers who are black, ummm…I think that the doors open wider and the gateway becomes bigger for us to move and embrace ourselves as we are.”

When asked if she would ever want to work with Issa Rae, Atkins responded that she absolutely would and praised the Insecure creator for making an opportunity to share her work with the masses even when on wasn’t necessarily handed to her.

She also talked about her role on Marlon as an interior decorator and shared her own personal style and what home décor while parenting a 5-year-old looks like:

“I don’t like a home that you can’t live in. As much as I am about ‘neat and order’ I also want to create a space that feels safe and comfortable and where people like want to chill and relax.”

After announcing the end of her almost seven-year marriage to seven year marriage to Jaime Mendez late last year, Atkins recently revealed to Essence that the role helped her heal from the divorce from the man she met on

“All my memories, my triggers and my baggage go into this role and just calibrate according to Ashley’s take on the situation.”

“Talking about it has been important for me, and I hope we’re inspiring people to approach this situation with more love.”

You can see her interview in its entirety below:

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