Behind The Scenes

#WCW: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Nicole Ari Parker


Follow Nicole Ari Parker on Instagram and there’s one thing you’re sure to find— sometimes life truly does imitate art. A quick glance reveals a mix of family and work photos, fitness videos, and powerful political and social imagery.

While nobody is perfect, it’s safe to say that Nicole Ari Parker has taken life by the horns and created her own version of perfection.

You may recognize Nicole from her popular roles in Boogie Nights, Remember the Titans, and Blue Streak. But while her talent onscreen is beyond impressive, we love Nicole most for her non-stop dedication and passion, which is why she’s our #Woman Crush Wednesday!

Eager to learn more? Here are 5 things you didn’t know about our #WCW, Nicole Ari Parker.

By: Emily Dinenberg

1. She’s an advocate for embracing natural beauty.

After the birth of her daughter, Sophie, in 2005, Parker made the decision to become natural and encourage her daughter to embrace her natural beauty as well. In an interview with MadameNoir, Parker stated, “…when I had my daughter, I wanted her to love herself just the way she is. The first 10 to 12 years, they really look at mommy for standards of everything: how to carry yourself, how to walk, talk, and love yourself. So when she sees me wear my hair natural, she wants to wear her hair natural. She loves it. And that’s important to me, for her to know that the way she is, is her first option.”

Want to begin embracing your natural hair? Check out these haircare basics if you’re “Newly Natural”.


2. She’s worked on 3 different productions with Kimberly!

Call us biased, but any of Nicole’s work with Kimberly has got to be a favorite. In addition to her other notable classic films, Nicole has also worked with Kimberly on projects such as Almost Christmas, The Loretta Claiborne Story, and Headshop!

3. She’s always had model work ethic.

Growing up as the only woman of color in an all-girls grammar school, Parker found her sense-of-self while play acting at home in Baltimore, Maryland. Eventually, playing turned into roles in local theater productions and a Best Actress award in a state-wide competition at age 17. Despite her parents’ hesitancy, Parker persisted, working at the Baltimore Actor’s Theatre, the Washington Ballet Company, and eventually going to school at New York University’s renowned Tisch School of the Arts. Nicole continued to work the local theater circuit, building her resume, and even took a job scooping ice cream! This hard work eventually paid off as she landed her breakout role on the acclaimed show, Soul Food, and has been killing the business ever since.

4. She found love on set.

While working on the set of Soul Food, Boris Kodjoe was brought on the cast as the role of Parker’s boyfriend. During a script rehearsal, Parker recalled thinking, “Oh great, they’ve got a supermodel to play my boyfriend.” Their chemistry on screen was mimicked in real life, as the pair became a real-life couple and married in 2005. They also have two kids, Sophie and Nicolas. Nicole and Boris recently celebrated 12 years of marriage in May!

First stop. 🍽 Falafel sandwich @lasdufallafel #Grubbin

A post shared by nicoleariparker (@nicoleariparker) on

Are you ready to take your relationship to the next step? Ask yourself these questions.   

5. She’s become an entrepreneur with the GymWrap

After noticing busy everyday women use their hair as an excuse not to work out, Nicole Ari Parker, decided to create her own solution: the GymWrap. Considering that women spend time and sometimes money to wash, dry, and style their hair, Nicole knew they needed a tool that would enable them to protect their hair while working out. The GymWrap is a fitness sweatband that utilizes moisture-wicking and sweat-absorption technology. And allows for ventilation, letting heat escape while keeping cool air in. In addition to using the GymWrap for workouts, it also comes in a variety of colors and patterns, so you can wear it both in and out of the gym however you’d like (people of all genders can wear the GymWrap, too!).

G is for Grateful. #onmyway #Day2 #EssenceFest2017 I❤NOLA @TheGymwrap in Paisley @Monip10 Brows & Beat

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After protecting your hair, protect your muscles with these 3 stretching exercises you can add to your workout.

It’s safe to say that Nicole Ari Parker is a perfect representation of finding joy in hard work and love, and is the obvious choice for our #WCW. Take a tip from her playbook and keep your nose to the grindstone, even when the going gets tough.

Who do you get your #WCW inspiration from? Share the love with us in the comments!

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