By Jasmine Grant
Actress/singer Vanessa Williams and her daughter Jillian Hervey (1/2 of the alternative electronic group Lion Babe) are serving up serious hair goals on the latest cover of Essence. Vanessa, 53, rocks a flowing loose waves with braided tendrils while Jillian’s signature blonde fro takes on a life of its own.
Aside from their enviable glam, these two extraordinary women dropped a few gems about self-acceptance and survival. Their life experiences are separated by decades, but interestingly enough, both mom and daughter have a lot to share about loving yourself and remaining fearless.
“You have to go through the fire. Avoiding the pain is why most people never resolve it,” said Williams, who graciously recovered from Miss America dethronement in 1984. “You have to dig deep, sit in it and ugly-cry. Pretending it’s not there and keeping busy are a way of avoiding it.”
Williams also opens up about finding love again after marrying Jim Skrip last year. “[Marrying Jim Skrip] it was one of those easy, easy things. It was fantastic.”
Jillian, known for her lion-esque mane, discusses her feelings about hair being linked to identity. “My hair was supposed to represent this freedom, and then it almost became a trap.” Jillian’s love-hate relationship came to a head during a recent hair panel appearance at the Brooklyn festival Afropunk. “Everyone was creative and beautiful, and it felt so sacred.”
To read more, make sure you grab the January issue of Essence when it hits newsstands December 9th!
Oh, and if you’re in the mood for some holiday nostalgia, watch Vanessa Williams’s full performance at VH1 Divas: Unsilent Night.