Gabrielle Union believes that the annual Essence Fest in New Orleans is a “a special time to rally support, connect, and to amplify your message”, Refinery29 reports – her message being that it’s time to start actively breaking down barriers and crossing the lines of beauty standards in America. Over the years she’s openly expressed her struggles in her career that she faced based on the shade of her skin. Now with an abundance of self-love and self-appreciation, Union wants to pass this on to the children she is helping to raise: Dwayne Wade’s 2 sons and his nephew who now also lives with them.
In this Essence Fest interview, she recalls a recent conversation she had with the 3 boys about the girls that they liked at their schools. Intrigued, Union asked them to pull up the Instagram accounts of the girls they were talking about:
Literally, probably about 10 girls I looked at had the same light skin, curly hair, tiny waist, butt, boobs — it was the same girl over and over again. So I asked them to show me the most beautiful chocolate sister they’ve seen. They say there are none. I was like, ‘Why do they get exed out so fast? What is happening in your brain that is causing you to look at these women through a prism that is distorting their actual selves?’
The decorated actress took it upon herself to then open their horizons and expand their standards, showing them Ryan Destiny, a beautiful brown skinned singer, actress, and dancer. The boys immediately agreed that she was beautiful, but Union came to a more complex conclusion:
They don’t see the beauty unless it comes from an actress or a supermodel or a video vixen. They have to have somebody else tell them that a chocolate woman is attractive for them to believe it.
She feels that it is important to have this conversation with not just your children, but also in the work place and the beauty industry.
Hit the flip for a few amazing photos of Gabrielle Union loving the skin she’s in.