“I had no idea at the time, but I think that really defined me because people bullied me for my skin and they called me names,” Davis says. “It’s not like now when you see a beautiful person on TV or in a movie… And then people say, ‘Oh she looks so good,’ but nobody ever said it to them.”
“Viola Davis says hateful bullying over her appearance ‘defined’ her growing up.” is a blog post written by Viola Davis. In this article, she talks about how she was constantly bullied for being overweight and African American. She goes on to talk about how the bullying made her feel like she wasn’t good enough.
As a youngster, the actress didn’t have it easy (Image: Netflix/Getty/Instagram).
Viola Davis has remarked that being labeled “ugly” “defined” her childhood.
During her years of success, the Oscar winner, 56, put on a’mask of bravado,’ but she ‘really thought’ she was unattractive as a result of childhood bullying.
Viola’s revelation comes as she steps into the shoes of Michelle Obama, 58, for the Showtime anthology First Lady, which chronicles the lives of presidents and their wives throughout history.
The star of How to Get Away With Murder has won several prizes for her work on theater and cinema, including two Tonys and a Bafta.
During a Netflix special with Oprah Winfrey, she revealed how she would rush home every day to escape being bullied at school.
‘As soon as the bell sounded, I’d flee home because I knew the same eight to nine lads would be after me, calling me Black, ugly, and picking up everything they could find on the side of the road: bricks, twigs,’ Viola said.
She had a long conversation with Oprah (Picture: Netflix)
She spoke out to the presenter about her tumultuous background (Picture: Netflix)
‘The intensity of hate when they spoke those things,’ she said, ‘that is the memory that characterized me.’
‘As much as I put on that mask of courage, confidence, and being the boss lady that people speak about as I went through my life… But there was a broken young girl within who really felt she was unattractive and insufficient.
‘That, more than anything else, defined me.’
While Viola wishes the narrative had ended differently, she says what occurred to her was “very impactful.”
She began counseling when she was 28 or 29 years old, and she determined that she ‘wanted things to be different.’
Viola was bullied as a youngster because of her appearance. (Image courtesy of Instagram)
Viola grew up in Central Falls, Rhode Island, where she stated her family often went without hot water, gas, or electricity, and rats roamed the premises.
Her residence had ‘plaster falling off the walls,’ she was ‘always hungry,’ she never had a phone, and the ‘plumbing never functioned,’ so she characterized it as ‘a life of extreme poverty’ and ‘a life of hardship.’
‘One of our first flats was plagued with rats, and you had to cover your ears at night to avoid hearing them devouring the pigeons on the roof.’
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During the Covid lockdown, Viola said she focused on her background in order to write her novel, Finding Me.
The book relates her experience of discovering her voice ‘in a world that didn’t always notice me,’ from a dilapidated apartment in Central Falls, Rhode Island, to the stage in New York City, and beyond.’
On April 26th, Finding Me will be launched.
Netflix has Oprah + Viola accessible to watch.
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