In a recent interview on Entertainment Tonight's Unfiltered, actress Tia Mowry discussed her experience as a Black child star in the '90s. The actress said that despite being the co-star of the wildly popular sitcom, Sister, Sister, she often experienced discrimination because of her skin color. She specifically recalled a time when she and her twin sister (and co-star) Tamera were denied the opportunity to appear on a magazine cover with her sister because of their race.
"So my sister and I wanted to be on the cover of this very popular [teenage] magazine at the time," Tia said in the interview. "We were told that we couldn't be on the cover of the magazine because we were Black, and we would not sell."
Tia said that she knew it wasn't true; that she and her sister's appearance on a magazine cover could sell as many copies as their white counterparts. But she didn't feel empowered to say so in that moment.
"I wish I would have spoken up," she said. "I wish I would have said something then. I wish I would have had the courage to speak out and say that wasn’t right."
As one of the few young Black women in the entertainment industry at the time, Tia didn't have anyone to look up to or model herself after. As a result, she started to become more insecure.
"I would feel insecure about my hair," Tia said. "I never saw girls that, you know, were embracing their curls or I never saw curly hair being portrayed as beautiful."
A post shared by TiaMowry (@tiamowry) on Aug 4, 2020 at 6:31am PDT
As more Black women entered the entertainment space and embraced their appearance, Tia said she's been more at peace with herself and embrace her own natural beauty. But it was her mother Darlene who helped Tia and Tamera understand what it means to be a "strong, confident, beautiful Black women. Also warned them not to let the industry define who they are.
Darlene used to tell her girls, "'Don't let something like that tell you who you are, and tell you what your value is, because it's not true,'" Tia said.
Now, Tia is trying to pass on that message to young Black women, famous or otherwise.
"What matters to me is that I inspire, that I encourage, that I can bring joy to people," she said. "That is what makes me happy now."
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