When Viola Davis makes her way to the red carpet, you know all eyes are going to be on her. Davis has always been fabulous, but for the past few years, her red carpet looks have been next level. It’s clear the How to Get Away with Murder star has always had an affinity for the vibrant outfits that designers create.
It’s rare to see Davis not looking like a confident superstar, rocking a colorful dress or pantsuit at a premiere or award ceremony. But Davis doesn’t want you to only call her “pretty” or “beautiful” when you see her, telling InStyle, “We need to stop that with girls. We need to stop saying that all of their value is in the way they look, and whether they’re pretty or not,” she adds. “I hate it when people say things like, ‘She has a lot going for her because she’s beautiful.’ But what else is she?
The Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom star added, “Because by the time she’s 65 and doesn’t have that tight rear end anymore, then you’re saying she has no value? That needs to stop. It’s the most detrimental thing to suggest that’s the only value you have.”
Davis is all about feeling confident in your own skin, and in the same interview, she said, “My go-to saying is that a privilege of a lifetime is being who you are, and I would tell my younger self exactly that—you are absolutely perfect the way you are.”
To honor Davis and her incredibly bold fashion, let’s take a look back at her fashion evolution over the years.
A version of this article was originally published in Feb. 2017.