Actress Kiersey Clemons is still riding high off the success her recent movie, Dope. In it, Clemons plays Diggy, a high school geek who isn’t afraid to live by her own rules. That confident attitude wasn’t too hard to pull off for Clemons, who recently explained that being comfortable with who you are is essential to happiness.
“Just do whatever you want to do,” the 21-year-old actress told Styleblazer.com. “At the end of the day, if you have the confidence and you rock it, you’re going to sell it. That’s what Kanye does. Kanye convinces us that he does no wrong because he feels that way.”
When asked to describe her personal style, Clemons said she’s “sporty-chic” and loves to wear sneakers, boots, and dresses. “A little bit casual but sexy,” she said.
Clemons is also a natural hair girl and she talked a bit about how too much importance is placed on hairstyle.
“For a while, I was so caught up in what people think of you as a Black girl if you have certain hairstyles,” she said. “If you have braids or short hair or if you straighten it, people are going to make certain judgments about you. That’s not something I just put in my own head, it’s something I saw growing up as a kid. It took a really long time for me to embrace my natural hair, it took a lot of seeing other women do it. It had to be bigger than me. I had to be like ‘f**k this s**t’ if I am going to be an actor, if I’m going to be given a platform, I can’t be afraid to be myself and do what I want to do.”
But as dope as this girl is, Clemons admits that not everyone is about her look simply because she’s Black and that racism still runs rampant in the entertainment industry.
“It’s really crazy how roles, especially book adaptations, if a book is being made into a movie if it’s written for a white girl, they don’t change that. But if she is Asian or Latina or Black they have no problem casting a white girl, and it’s giant slap in the face,” she said. “It’s insulting, you’re basically saying you couldn’t find a Black girl that was good enough to play a Black girl’s part so you had to cast a white girl? That’s incredibly insulting, but it is something that we go through all of the time.
“It’s just a matter being part of the change, and do the best that I can as Kiersey, and take on the parts that I can play and change those people’s perspectives.” she continued. “Show them that’s not true. We go through that a lot. I have definitely not gotten things because I’m Black. And we can say that it’s not racist but at the need of the day, it’s pretty racist.”
To read her entire interview, click here.
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(Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Amazon Studios)