Not only is Gabrielle Union ageing even better than a fine wine (black don’t crack, sis), but the actress and author is outspoken about equality and seeks to affirm women of colour in the entertainment industry and beyond.
But what we love most about Gabrielle (what’s not to love?) is her vulnerability. Black women are seen as unbreakable because of what we are forced to endure. Being on the receiving end of not only racism, but sexism as well, makes us seem more resilient than most. And that after centuries of all that BS, we’re still here surviving.
But people forget black women are human, too. We’re rarely afforded the luxury of breaking down or expressing anything that isn’t #blackgirlmagic. Being hyper-visible and in the public eye means celebrities like Gabrielle are under constant scrutiny when the rest of us can go home in peace and cry over ice cream and Netflix.
In her upcoming autobiography, We’re Going To Need More Wine, Gabrielle shares her story of experiences with infertility. Talking about racism, sexism, and suffering through over eight miscarriages, Gabrielle validated the experiences of thousands of women who suffer in silence. Such a personal experience is different for everyone, but sharing her story made those who have similar narratives feel less alone.
If you’re married, and even if you’re not, the assumptions made by everyone from your auntie to your co-workers as soon as you hit as early as 30 is, ‘So when are you having kids?’ It may seem like an innocent inquiry into your personal life, but you never know what someone is dealing with. Like invasive questions about eating habits or projections based on what you think women should aspire to (marriage and children included), making callous statements on the state of someone’s affairs isn’t cute.
More than not being nice, it can be extremely triggering to be probed for sensitive information and to re-live that trauma. Discussing her own trauma, Gabrielle said that ‘for so many women, and not just women in the spotlight, people feel very entitled to know, “Do you want kids?” A lot of people, especially people who have fertility issues, just say “no” because that’s a lot easier than being honest about whatever is actually going on. People mean so well, but they have no idea about the harm or frustration it can cause.’
Gabrielle showed us that it’s okay to not be okay, whether you’re in the limelight or not. Shine, kween.