Tia Mowry Recalls Being Told She’d ‘Fit More Of A Latina Role’ Because She ‘Didn’t Look Black Enough’
Tia Mowry-Hardrict and Tamera Mowry-Housley might have been superstars in the ’90s thanks to their hit series Sister, Sister. But Tia Mowry-Hardrict has revealed that she and her twin sister weren’t treated as well as their counterparts. From Tamera Mowry-Housley being told her hair was a “distraction” to casting directors advising Tia Mowry-Hardrict to go after Latina roles, Tia Mowry-Hardrict broke down their experience.
She said on her YouTube series Tia Mowry’s Quick Fix:
“It was very evident to me when I would walk on sets and see how certain stars or actors would be treated who weren’t of ethnicity — better dressing room, better trailer. Now I’m like, more aware what that was, which is a budget, but back then I didn’t know what a budget was. It was so clear how you would see one show that didn’t have a diverse cast that just had a bigger budget so everything just seemed bigger and better. But when it came to my projects and what I was doing, you actually really visually saw the less-than.”
She added that things for them didn’t change, even after Sister, Sister went big.
“I remember once the show became a hit, it’s very normal for you to ask for a raise. That’s what happens, right? People get raises. But it was always so hard for my sister and I to get what we felt like we deserved and our paycheck never equaled our counterparts’ that weren’t of diversity, and that was frustrating. Very, very frustrating.”
While she and Tamera Mowry-Housley were known for their curly locks, Tia Mowry-Hardrict said she was also insecure about those because she didn’t see many other women rocking their natural hair.
“When I was doing Sister, Sister, I had curly hair and what was interesting was once my sister and I got older and we wanted to be viewed as ‘sexy,’ we would straighten our hair. I went on to do so many other television shows and I would always wear my hair straight because I was insecure about my curly hair. These insecurities came because I didn’t see these images, meaning women with curly hair and their natural hair, being portrayed as beautiful.”
She added that at one point, Tamera Mowry-Housley was told her hair was a “distraction.”
Tia Mowry-Hardrict added:
“I’ve been told I’m not Black enough, which was very odd and weird to me. You don’t look Black enough. I think you would fit more of the Latino role.’ It’s like, what? These were casting directors who did not understand the different shades of Black culture.”
She said this treatment helped boost her ambition.
“How I was treated is why I built my work ethic. Nothing came easy to me. I always had to work harder than. I’ve always had to be better than average. And I guess if I didn’t go through what I had gone through or if I didn’t see what I had seen when I was a child, I don’t think I would be where I am today, which is a hard freaking worker. Because guess what? It’s hard to outwork someone.”
What do you think about Tia & Tamera’s experience? Comment and let us know.