Make room, Georgia May Jagger, Tali Lennox and Dree Hemingway. There’s a new celebrity-offspring-turned-model on the scene—and she’s a knockout. Bria Murphy, daughter of Eddie Murphy, is stepping into the spotlight. Murphy has a new contract with L.A. Models, turned heads on newsstands with a sizzling spread in Maxim and has now signed on to become a spokesperson for SoftSheen-Carson Dark and Lovely, a hair-care brand she says she’s been using for 11 years. We chatted with the 22-year-old about how beauty for her is all about experimentation, the definition of good hair and being raised by the legendary comedic actor.
When did you take your first beauty risk?
When I was 11, I cut off all my hair. It was really, really short. My hair was to my shoulders [at the time] and it wasn’t growing. It was just there. So my mom was like, “Why don’t you cut it?”
Your mom told you to cut your hair?
Yeah. And then my mom cut her hair with me so that I’d understand that it was just hair and that it would grow back. My curl is super tight and my mom’s is super loose, so I got a Dark & Lovely relaxer just to make my hair more manageable. But I wouldn’t relax it straight as I do nowadays.
It sounds like your mom is very experimental when it comes to beauty. What would you say was the best piece of beauty advice that your mother gave you?
Honestly, it’s not a physical thing. It’s a mental thing. It’s confidence. She’s taught me how to be super-confident and believe in myself, and I think that’s helped me tremendously. My mom says about modeling, “If you’re wearing a trash bag, you better own it.” So I think that’s helped me be open to all types of fashion and hairstyles. And I’m just so appreciative of it because I’m fearless when it comes to my style now.
How would you describe your beauty style today?
It depends. Generally, I’m very natural. I prefer to look like I have no makeup on. Sometimes I do, but I like to look as if I just woke up this way. But I switch it up. I’ll be really edgy one day, I’ll be sporty one day, I’ll be glam the other day. It just depends on the day.
So you’re experimental like your mom?
Yeah, absolutely. She’s rubbed off on me.
Let’s now talk about your dad. When did you realize he was famous?
I don’t think I realized my dad was famous for a while. When I was younger the only celebrity in my head was Michael Jackson. When it comes to Michael [and his passing], I [consider myself] a widow. You don’t understand!
But as I got older, I started understanding [my upbringing] isn’t just the way life is.
Did your father ever pressure you to get into comedy at all?
Not at all. He never pressured me to do anything. As far as work goes, when I came home and said I wanted to model, initially I was like, “Okay, I’ll do school and [I’ll] model.” He was like, “No. You pick one and you focus on that. And then later on if you want to go back to the other one, do that.” He said, “Just put your all into whatever you’re doing.” And that’s what I’ve been doing and it’s really been working out well.
Going back to hair, why is it important for you to be a part of Dark & Lovely?
Well, it really hits home for me. This brand is so legendary in the African-American community and in all communities really. I’ve used Dark & Lovely ever since I was younger, so I can relate to it. So I feel truly blessed. I’m living my dream, and I’m having a blast.
There’s been a lot of debate in the black community recently between natural hair versus treated hair, especially with the release of Good Hair. What’s your stance on the issue?
I don’t think there is good or bad hair. It’s just about however you like to wear it.
Photo: Getty Images