Representation matters behind the scenes too…
You guys remember the hugely successful “High School Musical” movies right? One of the film’s only black stars, Monique Coleman recently opened up to give insight about her character Taylor McKessie’s penchant for a certain accessory — headbands! It turns out that the reason Taylor wore so many headbands in the 2006 movie was because the glam department didn’t have the best expertise in terms of Black Hair.
“We’ve grown a lot in this industry and we’ve grown a lot in representation and we’ve grown a lot in terms of understanding the needs of an African American actress,” the 40-year-old told Insider in an interview for the movie’s 15th anniversary.
“But the truth is, is that they had done my hair, and they had done it very poorly in the front,” she said.
Yikes! That sounds pretty awful. We would think if they were aiming to get anything right, it would be the front of her hair! Alas, Coleman says crew members ran short on time to fix their shoddy work before filming began so she made the suggestion they “incorporate headbands into her character” and “just make that a part of who she is.”
The suggestion was accepted and Taylor became the queen of headbands, not just in the 2006 film but also for both sequels.
For her part, Coleman says she and her castmates were “lucky” because Disney and the film’s wardrobe department were “very open to our feedback.”
Kudos to Coleman for having such a positive attitude. She definitely walked away from the experience with a better attitude than most!