Gabrielle Union is one of the most beautiful Black women in the world – but she didn’t always believe that to be the case. In a recent interview, Media Take Out learned that Gabby explained that she used to “hide her upper lip” in order to make herself appear “less Black.”
Gabrielle explained that in order to play her new character in the film The Inspection, she had to look inward and explore, “All of the things that we are willing to do in order to be seen, to move that much further ahead in your career for a check, for acceptance, or for validation.”
She continued, “For me, I would only smile like thins [hiding her upper lip.]” Adding,, “I thought the if I showed my full upper lip, then they would know I was Black. I literally hid my upper lip. I tried to minimize my blackness.”
Gabrielle is known for her performances in the romantic comedy films The Brothers (2001), Deliver Us from Eva (2003), Daddy’s Little Girls (2007), Think Like a Man (2012) and Think Like a Man Too (2014). She also had starring roles in the CBS medical drama series City of Angels (2000) and films Bad Boys II (2003), Cradle 2 the Grave (2003), Neo Ned (2005), Cadillac Records (2008), Top Five (2014) and Breaking In (2018). In 2013, Union began starring as the lead character in BET drama series Being Mary Jane, for which she has received an NAACP Image Award. Additionally, she co-starred in the 2016 film The Birth of a Nation, and also appeared in Almost Christmas (2016) and Sleepless (2017).
Outside of acting, Union has written four books: two memoirs, titled We’re Going to Need More Wine (2017) and You Got Anything Stronger? (2021), and two children’s books, titled Welcome to the Party (2020) and Shady Baby (2021). She has also been an outspoken advocate for issues involving women’s health and violence against women. Union was included on Time’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2020.