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Monique Coleman Explains Why Her 'High School Musical' Character Always Wore Headbands

Monique Coleman Explains Why Her 'High School Musical' Character Always Wore Headbands

Monique Coleman is opening up about her experience filming High School Musical and why her character Taylor McKessie always wore headbands.

The now-40-year-old actress opened up to Insider this week and revealed that the film’s crew didn’t know how to style her hair.

“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,” Monique said. “But the truth is, is that they had done my hair and they had done it very poorly in the front. And we had to start filming before I had a chance to fix it.”

Monique said that there wasn’t time to properly do her hair, so she suggest they “incorporate headbands into her character” and “just make that a part of who she is.”

Click inside to find out what else she said about the experience…

Monique Coleman wearing a headband

Monique also revealed that Disney was open to suggestions from actors and she helped craft Taylor’s look for the movie’s final song.

“I thought, ‘Oh, I think it would be really fun for Taylor to kind of have this sort of awakening moment. And I thought the tie was a really cute look,” Monique said about the homage to Britney Spears‘ “Baby One More Time” video.

She added, “That was so, so long ago that the ‘One More Time’ video was still relevant and I thought, ‘Huh, wouldn’t it be kind of cool if Taylor’s look had a nod to that in some way?’”

Monique Coleman wearing a headband

Monique also talked about how she feels honored to have played Taylor, who was not a stereotypical Black character.

“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,” she said. “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. And I appreciated that that wasn’t why people loved Taylor. They loved her because she was smart and supportive. And it definitely means a lot to me for people to see her. There was Taylor before the Obamas were a thing. So we didn’t have people to look up to. So knowing that this generation got to look up to her really is special for me.”

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