H.E.R. used to feel the need to get rid of her natural curls.
The 24-year-old singer – whose real name is Gabriella Wilson – admitted that she would often “flat-iron” her naturally wavy locks after feeling the pressure to “conform”.
She explained: “It’s funny, because my mom didn’t really know how to do my hair because it was so big and curly. My mom’s Filipino and she has straight hair, so she would take me to hair salons and they would hook it up. I always flat ironed it, put heat on it, [tried to] figure it out, as opposed to trying to wear my natural curls. I don’t think I realized it as a kid, but it was definitely something where I felt like, ‘Oh, I need to conform.’”
However, the ‘Back of My Mind’ hitmaker added that nowadays she is learning to embrace her natural beauty, and that her “real” self is just a stripped-back version of her persona as H.E.R.
She told Allure: “H.E.R. is the real me, but it’s still a persona. So me being stripped [back] and not wearing makeup or big glasses is my disguise in a way. It’s kind of like me hiding in plain sight. I just tuck my hair away and people don’t recognize me. I’m not even going to blame the music industry for making me present myself in a certain way. I present the way I want to and I never thought the industry was forcing me to do that kind of thing. Being on camera, you want to look your best.
I’ve definitely unpacked a lot of things that I thought made me myself and then realized I don’t need. I don’t have to get my nails done every two weeks. It doesn’t make me more or less of a woman if I don’t get my eyebrows done. Once I realized that, I was much less reliant on those things.”
The Grammy Award winner also explained that she feels the “most beautiful” when she is “happy” and has done her make-up herself.
She added : “I feel the most beautiful when I’m happy, when I’m having a good time, and when I’m chilling. When my hair is natural and I have a little bit of makeup on — or when I do it myself, actually. Anything that I do myself and put some effort into, that’s when I feel beautiful.”