Cookie Lyons Isn't Empire's Only Beauty Boss

Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.
When you think of Empire, you probably think about a pack of clawing Lyons fighting over their record dynasty, the sexy cat-and-mouse chase between exes Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) and Luscious (Terrence Howard), or maybe even Cookie's lavi$h hood rich-meets-haute couture wardrobe. But today, friends, I ask you to take a closer look at the character often prancing alongside the Cookie monster: her assistant Porsha, played by Ta'Rhonda Jones.
While I admit it's hard to play favorites with an ensemble cast like this, I've beee rooting for Jones since day one. I still giggle at an early season scene where Porsha struggled to walk in high heels as Cookie angrily stomped out of the Empire Entertainment offices. (Porsha is all of us.) But my fandom isn't just about her character — Ta'Rhonda is a beauty star in her own rite.
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Before the show's second season, series creator Lee Daniels let Ta'Rhonda call the shots in the glam room. "I told Lee, 'I don't want those braids back. That was hell for me!" she told Glamour of one of her character's early hairstyles. "Lee saw my hair green and was like, 'I like this. Let's do this.' Lee told [wardrobe and styling], 'Just leave her. Don't change her hair, let her wear her own clothes, let her do her own makeup.'"
Makes sense: She switches her hairstyles more than most of us change purses — curly pixie one day, long faux dreadlocks the next. She even names some of her wigs (you gotta see Shelby), and does her own makeup for the red carpet, too. Ahead, see why Daniels had the right (and bright) idea.
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Photo: Via @tarhondajay.
Sometimes, short stories are the best ones.
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Ta'Rhonda is no stranger to rainbow hair, like this vibrant blue-green.
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Photo: Via @tarhondajay.
Even though she admitted to blurring out a barbecue sauce stain on her shirt (hey, shit happens!), we were too distracted by her tousled waves and poppin' highlighter to notice.
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Photo: Via @tarhondajay.
"#HerNameIsDeena," Ta'Rhonda named this style — and we're pleased to make her acquaintance.
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Photo: Via @tarhondajay.
These double buns are a win-win.
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Photo: Via @tarhondajay.
We have a feeling she was having fun, even before the blond hair.
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Photo: Via @tarhondajay.
That sleek, center-parted, chin-length bob is giving us Cookie vibes.
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Photo: Via @tarhondajay.
Meet Shelby, her gray-streaked bowl cut 'do.
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Photo: Via @tarhondajay.
"S H E has A R R I V E D !" Ta'Rhonda captioned. Oh, hello.
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Photo: Via @tarhondajay.
She weaved one of her faux dreadlocks with wire for a little something special (and shiny).
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Photo: Via @tarhondajay.
It's that red lip, classic thing that we like.
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Photo: Via @tarhondajay.
Check out her shimmery, inner-eye strobing.
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Photo: Via @tarhondajay.
More double bun action.
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Photo: Via @tarhondajay.
Ta'Rhonda's purple-haired alter ego's name is Morgan. "#YesSheIsStuckUp &
#SheReallyDontHaveEdgesUnderHerInches & #SheHatesDudesWithBadCredit," she joked.
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