‘She wasn’t just going to be some American girl in this movie.’
For Rihanna’s role as Nine Ball in Ocean’s 8, released globally next week, her hairstyle plays a huge part in forming the character’s identity. And it was the singer herself who requested to wear faux dreadlocks when filming, her long-term hairstylist, Yusef Williams revealed.
Speaking to Refinery29, he explained:
“Her locs would maintain that tie to Africa. She’d keep her accent. She wasn’t just going to be some American girl in this movie. Nine Ball is still a Caribbean girl that just happens to be in America.”
Typically, Rihanna looks amazing in character, but this move is more significant than most from the beauty chameleon’s ever-evolving hairstyle files. It’s a classic power play from the Barbadian, who uses her profile to break barriers – be it launching the truly all-inclusive Fenty Beauty brand, or bringing locs to a blockbuster.
In America, it’s still legal to ban dreadlocks in the workplace; a shocking notion of discrimination. Here’s hoping that high-profile Hollywood releases like Ocean’s 8 (and Black Panther, which celebrated natural black hairstyles before it) demonstrate on the world stage that locs are work-appropriate as well as beautiful, badass – and whatever the wearer wants them to be.
This article originally appeared on elle.com