Monique Coleman, who played Taylor Mckessie in the 2006 High School Musical film explained to Insider why her character wore headbands. She said it had to do with the crew’s inability to do black hair and this was her workaround correcting their poor work. She also says the industry is much different now than back then.
“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,” she said in speaking about the film’s 15th year anniversary. “But the truth is, is that they had done my hair, and they had done it very poorly in the front.”
Because of the time constraints in doing her hair before filming, she just suggested they “incorporate headbands into her character” and “just make that a part of who she is.” She says, speaking of the incident that she was “lucky” that Disney was “very open to our feedback.” The headband became a signature for her character and she wore it in the 2007 and 2008 sequels.
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Coleman spoke about industry representation being important, something that comes as no surprise a lot of detractors simply don’t understand. “I’m really grateful to have been someone who was able to bring representation at a time where there wasn’t very much, and I’m so happy when I see this next generation of young artists and there just being so much more room for people of color.”
“It means the world to me, particularly because Taylor is such a dynamic character and the smartest person at school and all of that at a time where, often, Black girl characters tended to be the ones who had an attitude or to be sassy.”
These are important stories to show some of the workplace issues minorities have, especially in the industry and we’re glad Coleman told hers.