Nathalie Emmanuel has found "joy, defiance, and empowerment" in embracing her natural texture and wearing her curls

how she wants to, despite the world's suffocating opinions

after a decade of fighting hair discrimination on TV and film sets and facing pressure

 to conform to societal hair standards fitting the Western/White aesthetic.

Emmanuel opened up to Allure about her early experience as a teen actor on the set of England's Hollyoaks

Hollyoaks and the pressure she felt to conform to straight hairstyles like the other women in the cast.

 This is something you should do all the time.' 'Hmm, or not,' I'd always say.