Monique Coleman: ‘HSM’ character wore headbands because stylists couldn’t do Black hair

Coleman played Taylor McKessie in all three High School Musical films

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In a recent interview with Insider, High School Musical star Monique Coleman revealed her character wore headbands because stylists couldn’t do Black hair.

Coleman starred as Taylor McKessie in the High School Musical trilogy from 2006 – 2008. Best friend of Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens), Taylor’s outfits in the series consisted of signature headbands. Now, Coleman has revealed that the headbands weren’t just a character choice.

2nd Annual Girl Up #GirlHero Awards - Inside
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 13: Monique Coleman speaks onstage at the 2nd Annual Girl Up #GirlHero Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on October 13, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Girl Up )

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The actress sat down with Insider and opened about her experience working on High School Musical. She explained, “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…but the truth is, is that they had done my hair, and they had done it very poorly in the front.”

Coleman reportedly came up with the matching headband idea because the wardrobe department was short on time to fix the poor job they had done. Coleman herself suggested they make it a part of Taylor’s character in the series, and she subsequently wore headbands in every installment of the trilogy. Coleman did explain that she felt she “was very lucky because the wardrobe department was very open to our feedback.”

Q & A Session With The Cast Of "High School Musical"
HOLLYWOOD – MAY 04: Actors Monique Coleman, Zac Efron, Vanessa Anne Hudgens and Corbin Bleu attend a Q

The first High School Musical recently had its 15th anniversary. When speaking of the film’s legacy, Coleman revealed to Insider, “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.”

She concluded, “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.” 

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