Actress Joey King opens up about shaving her head, and challenging beauty norms

By Mikayla Grossman
July 02, 2019 05:56 PM
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Even when she was a preteen, Joey King had a fearless approach to beauty. At 11 years old, the actress shaved her head for The Dark Knight Rises and has done it twice since for Wish I Was Here and The Act, despite receiving negative feedback on social media. It’s this inner confidence that helped her land a new gig: a face of Urban Decay’s empowering new movement.

King is one of five women —including recording artist Lizzo— to front “Pretty Different,” the beauty brand’s campaign celebrating individuality and challenging stereotypes.

Courtesy Urban Decay

A longtime fan of the brand’s makeup (Having used it since she was 13, her favorites these days include their 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil and Eyeshadow Primer Potion), King is looking forward to using her new platform to help dispel beauty rules.

“I definitely own my uniqueness,” King tells PEOPLE exclusively. “I am very blunt and very honest. I don’t really have a filter.”

King reveals her eccentricities range from mixing different cereals together to playing hide-and-seek at nearly 20 years old —and of course, her rocking a pixie.

While King now embraces her shaved head, she says she didn’t always feel that sense of security. The first two times she cut off all her hair, it wasn’t met with the “nicest response” online. So when it came time to do it again for her newest project, The Act, she had some apprehension.

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“I remembered the way I felt when people said mean things when I was younger. But then I fully decided that I wanted to do it and when the day came along, I was like ‘Get this s— off my head!'”

Courtesy Urban Decay

The support of her loved ones reinforced her bold choice.

“Everybody was concerned about me shaving my head, not because of what I would look like, but because they remembered what I went through online the past times. They were like, ‘Do you want to go through [that] again?’ But when I decided I was willing to take that risk, they were like, ‘All right, well then we are fully behind you.’ And I’m super thankful that they are.”

Courtesy Urban Decay

For King, the decision had a lot to do with letting go, and coming into her own.

“I got rid of something that I usually hide behind, and that so many of us hide behind, and I was forced to confront myself and just be with myself with no hair. [Between that] and diving into such a complex character every day, I really just became my most confident and happy self.”