Pepi Sonuga is co-starring on Bella Thorne’s Freeform soap Famous in Love. She’s having a major moment, and she’s using her platform to speak out about an issue that’s vital to her: acceptance by her own community.
She grew up in Los Angeles and started modeling as a teenager, but Sonuga always felt like she was on the sidelines. “I feel like I never fit it in, in my life,” Sonuga, who was born in Nigeria to parents of African and English descent, tells Yahoo Beauty. “It’s not like I was super-popular back home. Mixed-race people, you wouldn’t think that’s a struggle, but they don’t fit in anywhere. It’s not a cool feeling to feel left out.”
Last month, Sonuga saw the horror comedy Get Out, which deals with race head-on, and it promoted her to write a much-talked about Instagram post about being judged by African-Americans for not having the right skin tone.
“We go through these life experiences and we think it’s normal and you say it out loud and wow, people relate to this. That post was on a whim. Growing up here, the first few years were very hard. I felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere. Especially in the Black community, that sucks. I’m not white or Asian or American — I’m not anything. I don’t fit into any of these boxes.
What’s different about me?” she tells Yahoo Beauty. “It’s not a sad story. It’s great to see how everyone could relate.”
But Sonuga owns her own beauty, and rocks jealousy-inducing tresses.
“I’m really into big, curly hair. The bigger the hair, the better. I have a lot of extensions in my hair,” she tells Yahoo Beauty. “I don’t perm my hair. I’m all-natural but it’s hard to tame most of the time.”
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