When Oscar® award-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg first came into her own in Hollywood in the 1980s, the comedy legend looked a little different than the glamorous starlets so often seen in the limelight. Amid a sea of movie stars with savvy stylists and beauty encourages was Whoopi -- a dressed-down woman with dreadlocks, an affection for sneakers and little use for false eyelashes.
As Whoopi gained fame for her roles in films like "The Color Purple" and "Ghost," she was also met with a lot of questions about her unconventional appearance, she says during a taping of "Oprah's Master Class."
"Look at me. This was not anyone's idea of what a movie star looked like -- ever," she says.
The public tried to figure Whoopi out. "I would read that in the paper all the time. 'What's with the face? What's with the hair? Why does she look like this? Why doesn't she wear high heels? Why does she dress like a guy? Is she gay, is she straight? What the hell?'" Whoopi says. "For years and years and years. I guess you were supposed to be a little more glamorous."
Rather than conforming to a traditional standard of Hollywood beauty, Whoopi shrugged off the pressure to be more glamorous. "Glamour's a lot of work," she says. "I'm fundamentally lazy."
Many wondered if Whoopi's decision to wear dreadlocks was linked to spirituality or another profound reason, but she offers a much simpler explanation. "I have dreads because I didn't want to comb my hair!" she says. "I'm not deep."
That keep-it-simple attitude is also behind her preference for wearing tennis shoes, even on the red carpet. "I wore sneakers because it was most comfortable for me," Whoopi says matter-of-factly. "Who wants to stand in high heels for three or four hours when you could be wearing sneakers under that dress? So that's what I did."