Welcome to Lovely Nathalie Emmanuel, the latest online resource dedicated to the talented actress Nathalie Emmanuel. Nathalie is known for her role as Sasha Valentine in UK soap"Hollyoaks" before heading off to America to further her career. She has since starred in the "Fast & Furious", and "Maze Runner", frachises aswell as "Game of Thrones", "Four Weddings and a Funeral", and "Die Hart". This site is online to show our support to the actress Nathalie Emmanuel, as well as giving her fans a chance to get the latest news and images. Enjoy your stay and please visit us again soon.
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How Nathalie Emmanuel Fought Hair Discrimination On Set
August 19th, 2022 • admin • 0 comments

“[I’ve had people] touch my hair like it’s a bomb about to go off.”

The Game of Thrones alum, who currently stars in The Invitation, spent her 20s fighting hair discrimination on set. Now 33, she’s made a big change — but there’s “joy, defiance, and empowerment” in her new, cropped look.

In my teens and 20s, I was already acting and started being in the public eye. Suddenly I had to present myself a certain way and had the expectations of the world on me. I felt a bit overwhelmed. My mum was always like, “It’s not about your appearance. You are beautiful. You
don’t need anything. You’re talented, you’re smart, kind, funny.” I could only be me at the end of the day.

But I was on a TV show in England called Hollyoaks, which was a teen show. A lot of students watched it and a lot of the women [in the cast] were very beautiful, glamorous. I definitely tried to become that.

There was a lot of pressure to conform, to have straight hair and do the aesthetic that was very Western/white. Every time I would straighten my hair, people would be like, “Oh, my God, I love your hair! You should do this all the time.” I’d always be like, “Hmm, or not.” I’ve always had quite a strong sense of myself, [but] you do just want to fit in at that age. You tend to be much more vulnerable to influence.

I remember when I first went to America and met other Black and mixed-race women [and they said], “Oh yeah, you need to get a weave. You need to have straight hair.” And I was like, “Really?” I just actively didn’t want to do that. That’s everybody’s choice for themselves. But for me it never felt right. I’ve had my hair damaged on set because someone wasn’t treating it right and literally had to cut off loads of it. That was just really heartbreaking.

I think that’s changed significantly. We have really good wigs now, but we’re still fighting that fight to make sure that our hair and makeup needs are being met. [I’ve had people] touch my hair like it’s a bomb about to go off. I don’t want to be sitting in a makeup chair crying because someone doesn’t know what they’re doing. People might assume that because I’m established, it doesn’t happen. That’s not true. So imagine what’s happening to the actress who just comes in as a day player.

I recently cut my hair short. I asked my mum for the first time [if I could cut my hair] when I was maybe 15 or something, and she was like, “No, don’t do that.” To her, I was perfect. And she was probably right to say that to me because I think it was a reaction to not meeting certain beauty standards. It wasn’t based on empowerment.

Very shortly after that, my family and I took a trip to the Caribbean, to St. Lucia, where I have heritage. There was just something really spiritual about that trip, about connecting with my heritage and understanding that this is why my hair curls, because I have a family that came from here. I went back to school that September with my hair brushed out into a huge ‘fro. I was like, “Let them tell me I can’t wear my hair.” I was like, “Yeah, my hair’s amazing. Don’t touch my hair, but it’s amazing.”

And then, at 17, I started doing television and I was having people come up to me because I was on the screen with natural hair and saying, “Oh, my God, I love your hair! I’m going to go natural because of you.” Then I realized how important it was, even in simple things, like fashion magazines and red carpets. People always think that you have to smooth your hair out for a special occasion and have the aesthetic; that is what’s considered glamorous. And I was like, “No, I’m going to do my texture.”

Halle Berry was one of the first people that I felt represented by in cinema, and then she had the short, cute cut. Neeko, who cuts my hair, and I met during Oscars weekend [this year] and I decided to go through with a close crop. So much was caught up in my hair: negative feelings, the feeling of burden, the trauma connected to it, but also the joy, the defiance, the empowerment. I felt like I had to shed it because a lot of cultures believe that your energy and spirit is in your hair. I just wanted to reset. And I’m still rocking my natural texture. It’s just shorter.

I always like to keep [makeup] as natural as possible. American projects tend to want the glamour a bit more, whereas in British things, it’s almost like you’re kind of begging for more blush — like, “Please?”

Generally, our sort of style on British TV and film is very, very minimalist. So I’m somewhere in the middle. I want to look natural, but also just enhance what’s already there and not look like a completely different person.

When it comes to body image, we’ve been fed this narrative where we have to fit this one ideal. I just have to remind myself that I’ve been told a lie. I look in the mirror sometimes if I’m feeling self-conscious about some part of my body and I just tell it, out loud, “I love you. I love you, little roll here. I love you, little scar here. Oh, my God, that’s like a memory. Don’t change. You’re beautiful.” I feel super silly doing it at times, but it does kind of work in a way. It sort of helps hack my brain. It’s empowering to say, “I’m in love with all of this.”

A version of this story originally appeared in the September 2022 issue of Allure. [Source]


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Upcoming appearances

Nothing currently

Current Projects
Army of Thieves
2021
A prequel, set before the events of Army of the Dead, which focuses on German safecracker Ludwig Dieter leading a group of aspiring thieves on a top secret heist during the early stages of the zombie apocalypse.

Last Train to Christmas
2021
Followed by Tony Towers, he's a local celebrity, a successful nightclub manager and he is engaged to a younger woman, Sue. Things get a little strange when he embarks upon the 3:17 to Nottingham for a Christmas family reunion.

The Invitation
2022
A young woman is courted and swept off her feet, only to realize a gothic conspiracy is afoot.

Unsinkable
202?
A raw young officer and a handful of desperate men. A thousand miles of enemy infested ocean: and a ship that would not die.
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Name: Lovely Nathalie Emmanuel
Since: October 06, 2021
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