Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Thandie Newton showcases her stunning natural curls... after ditching chemical relaxers for the sake of her daughters

By Nadia Mendoza

Most A-list mothers are busy churning out carbon copies of mini-mes to become the next generation of the Hollywood elite (ahem, Katie Holmes).

But Thandie Newton is determined to set her daughters an example.

The Run Fatboy Run actress revealed she decided to stop straightening her hair in a bid to discourage Ripley and Nico from feeling insecure about their natural curls.

Natural: Thandie Newton looks striking at the Sadler's Wells fundraising gala

Yesterday, the mother-of-two attended a fundraising gala at the Sadler's Wells Theatre in Clerkenwell, London, looking ravishing with a headful of shiny curls

As her voluminous hair spilled over her shoulders, Thandie looked effortlessly younger than her years posing with Gillian Anderson in a 'Girl' T-shirt.

Earlier this month, Thandie told longtime friend and make-up artist Kay Montano: 'I didn’t want my daughters to judge their beautiful curls.'

Binning the straighteners: Thandie has been altering her natural style for a long time, seen here at a black tie ball in May 2010 and the Elle Style Awards in 2006

The British star, 39, said she stopped using chemical relaxers typically used by black women to straighten their locks after seeing comic Chris Rock's documentary film Good Hair.

The movie enlightened her to the fact that the products contain enough of the corrosive substance Lye - more commonly known as caustic soda - to dissolve a Coke can.

She added: 'The stigma with some black women seems to be that "nappy hair" (natural afro hair) is almost as bad as loo roll trailing from your shoe.

Setting a good example: Thandie doesn't want daughters, 11-year-old Ripley and Nico, seven, to feel insecure about their hair

'I've always let my daughter’s hair be wild and scruffy... when they were papped in the States I had remarks about how I don’t take care of their hair. The truth is I choose to keep it that way.

'When I see hair that’s been pulled, stretched, brushed till bullet smooth I just think "ouch". I have my limits mind, sometimes I have to beg Nico to let me tidy it up for fear of her looking like she’s been neglected!'

The Londoner also said her own mother suffered at the hands of prejudice when Thandie's convent school refused to allow her in a group snapshot.

Au naturale: Viola Davis at the Oscars on Sunday and days earlier at the NAACP Image Awards in Los Angeles

The nuns were said to be 'appalled' at the braided cornrows, leaving Thandie 'embarrassed' and 'ashamed'.

Thandie said: 'I read this year a piece in The Independent about a student who appealed against not being able to wear his hair in (what the school felt was a hoodlum style) braids, and he won.

'That’s 30 years since the nuns dissed me… This s**t keeps going round.'

The inspiring Viola Davis, 46, drew glances as she sported her natural hair at the Oscars on Sunday evening, looking jaw-dropping in a green gown.

However, sadly The Help beauty missed out on the prize for Best Actress, after Meryl Streep pipped her to the post with her efforts in The Iron Lady.

Viola told InStyle her look came thanks to husband Julius Tennon, revealing: 'He told me, "If you want to wear wigs for your career, that's fine, but in your life wear your hair. Step into who you are."'

Showbiz chums: Thandie poses with her arm around Gillian Anderson



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