lena waithe has "gotten gayer"

Emmy Award-winner Lena Waithe shaved her head, and offered a red carpet reporter some empowering words about the decision.

by Ryan White
13 August 2018, 1:44pm

Image via Instagram

“I’ve gotten gayer, guys,” Master of None actress Lena Waithe joked on the red carpet late last week. A guest of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s annual Grants Banquet, the comment was made in reference to her newly-shaven head. But, getting deep for a moment when speaking to a journalist, Lena went on to explain that the buzzcut signified more than just a new look.

“I felt like I was holding on to a piece of femininity that would make the world feel comfortable with who I am,” she told Variety. “I think for a long time I thought, if I cut my hair, I’ll be a stud, I’ll be a, you know, stud or a butch, and I always thought I’m not that. I’m soft... and then I just said ‘I’m gonna do it’, and I cut it and I felt so free and so happy and so joyful, and I really stepped into myself. And if people call me a butch or say ‘she’s a stud’, or they call me ‘Sir’ out in the world, so what, so be it."

Wearing a suit, no make-up and a freshly shaved head should hardly be considered a political statement. Yet, in the misogynistic, antiquated world of Hollywood, to eschew the gender binary continues to be a defiant act. Lest we forget, Cannes Film Festival still enforces a rule requiring all female attendants to wear high heels -- with a group of women in their 50s reportedly being turned away from a screening of Carol in 2015 for not doing so.

But, as the first black woman to win an Emmy Award for comedy writing, Lena is no stranger to shaking up the establishment. Back in May, she also picked up a lot of press for draping a rainbow pride flag over her Met Gala suit. Given the event’s theme, “Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”, wearing the most explicit symbol of LGBTQ love was a badass move.

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Lena Waithe