#WCW ‘Ebonee Davis’ – An Exclusive By Myla Dalbesio
WHY WE LOVE HER:
For many women a change of hairstyle means nothing more than a trip to the salon and a few days of compliments from co-workers at the office. But for some, like model and activist Ebonee Davis, it can mean everything. After years of relaxing her locks, wearing weaves and extensions, and enduring the pain of on-set stylists unfamiliar with how to handle black hair, Ebonee decided to buck the accepted style and embrace her given curls in 2015. “It’s really all about feeling like you have a choice, in every aspect of life,” she said, in regards to defying her agency’s expectations. “It’s not just hair.” She hasn’t looked back since. Though she certainly locked down impressive jobs with a relaxed mane (including an appearance in the 2016 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue), it was after her choice to go ‘fro that her career really began to take shape.
With the release of her 2016 Calvin Klein underwear campaign, a beautiful color image featuring her natural coils reaching out like ivy, came her open letter to the fashion industry, released in Harper’s Bazaar and detailing the inherent racism she had experienced during the run of her career in New York. Suddenly fashion had a new voice to reckon with, unafraid to vocalize the importance of inclusion and the ineptitude with which the challenge has been met thus far. She continues to speak out on racism in fashion, recently giving a TEDx talk at the University of Nevada. Her Instagram is filled with daily missives on the subject, interspersed with lessons in self-love and overcoming life’s hardships (including a jarring recounting of her childhood experience having her family home foreclosed on, and living with her eighth-grade teacher while her father searched for a new house and job). Her career has continued to blossom as well, with Ebonee coming in for a second round with Calvin Klein and gaining high profile clients like Victoria’s Secret. And she recently launched a weekly video series called “Pillow Talk”, aimed to shine light on the experiences of marginalized people from around the world. We can’t wait to see what she does next.
Image Source: Garance Dore