Earlier this week we told you that on an episode of TV One’s We’re the Campbells, Erica Campbell and her daughter Krista had to have a conversation about colorism after her eldest revealed that she’d dealt with some mistreatment from peers due to her dark skin.
Well, Erica isn’t the only famous mother having such discussions with her kids. In an interview with Refinery29, Gabrielle Union shared that she had to speak with her stepsons (Dwyane Wade has three sons, including youngest, Xavier, but she was speaking about Zaire, Zion and his nephew, Dahveon Morris) about the topic after she asked them to show her the girls they were interested in at school via social media. Despite all of the boys being of a darker complexion, their interest seemed to be in the same type of young woman of a lighter complexion.
“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,” she said. “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?’”
To help expand their horizons, Union showed them the Instagram account of Ryan Destiny. Union has, in the past, referred to the 23-year-old as “Gab 2.0.” But she also showed them that there are plenty of beautiful women of a darker complexion far outside of Hollywood who are stunning, even if social media and everyday media isn’t pushing them as the must-have beauty or “vixen.”
“They’re like, ‘Oh, she bad!’ But do you know how many Ryan Destinies there are?” she said. “I pull up every Black model, women from all over the world, and they’re beautiful. But 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.”
But no matter who is checking for who, Union says that when she gets to places like Essence Fest, for example, or gathers with her circle, she’s glad to see that so many Black women, including herself, despite ups and downs and what society might be saying, know their own worth and beauty, no matter their complexion.
“So many of us have battled all sorts of sh-t,” she said. “Now, we’re on the vibe of ‘Love me exactly as I am, or not.’ I’m so happy in my own skin, I’m so happy in my own body, and I’m so happy in my own identity. It’s refreshing.”
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