Gabrielle Union Talks About Colorism and the Beauty of 'Chocolate Sisters'

Actress Gabrielle Union partnered with AT&T (
No. 3 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list) for its Dream In Black campaign during Essence Fest over the weekend to inspire Black people to dream big and live their wildest dreams. At the event, Union shared with the press that the topic of colorism has come up in her household and explained how she addressed it.

Colorism can be described as prejudice or discrimination against someone with a dark skin tone, usually among people of the same ethnic or racial group. Union, who’s married to NBA player Dwyane Wade, said she asked her teenage stepsons, Zaire and Zion, and Wade’s nephew, Dahveon, who lives with them, to show her the Instagram accounts of who they consider to be the best-looking girls at their high school, according to

The teens only showed her photos of light-skinned girls.

“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,” Union 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'”

Related Story: Gabrielle Union Drops ‘Black Truth Bombs’ We Need to Hear

In October, while on a media tour for her memoir, “We’re Going to Need More Wine,” Union said on ”
The View” that she and Wade often drop “Black truth bombs” on her stepsons, which includes sharing their fears about the safety of Black boys in America.

In their conversation about colorism, Union wanted to prove her point that “chocolate women” are beautiful. So she showed them
Ryan Destiny’s Instagram account. Destiny, an actress, is on the Fox TV show “Star.”

“They’re like, ‘Oh, she bad!'” Union said, according to Refinery29. “But do you know how many Ryan Destinies there are


“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.”

Related Story: Colorism Contributed to Beyonc’s Success, Says Her Father

“We’re Going to Need More Wine,” a New York Times bestseller, Union opened up about growing up a dark-skinned girl when having a light-skinned complexion was what her family viewed as the standard of beauty, as many Black families have experienced.

“It’s an age-old us against us oversimplification, that boils down to the belief that the lighter your skin tone, the more valuable and worthy you are,”
Union writes. “The standard of beauty and intelligence, that has historically been praised by the oppressor, has been adopted by the oppressed.”

With years of working on self-discovery and self-love, Union embraces her flawless complexion.

But she also said that the pain dark-skinned girls have experienced shouldn’t be dismissed.

“We darker girls should not be pitted against our lighter skinned sisters, but our pain at being passed over also shouldn’t be dismissed by people saying, ‘love the skin you’re in,'” she writes.

Latest News

George Floyd memorial

Derek Chauvin Found Guilty of Murdering George Floyd; President Biden Says Even More Must Be Done to Fight Systemic Racism in the US

Following global protests that drove millions out into the streets over the past year, and thanks in part to an excruciating cell phone recording of his murder that has played on a seemingly never-ending loop on many news networks, justice for George Floyd has finally been served. After just 10…

Vice President Kamala Harris

Following Derek Chauvin’s Guilty Verdict, Nation’s Top Black Women Political Leaders Push for Passage of ‘George Floyd Justice in Policing Act’

Following the justified and widely-celebrated guilty verdict of Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd, Black congressional leaders, including Representatives Joyce Beatty of Ohio, Karen Bass of California, Cori Bush of Missouri and Vice President Kamala Harris, renewed calls to further honor Floyd by pushing forward with the passage…

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

LA Mayor Proposes New Anti-Poverty Measure That Would Give Free Cash to Poor City Residents

The Public Policy Institute of California has estimated that more than 20% of people residing in Los Angeles live at or below the national poverty line, making less than $25,500 a year. But a new $24-million anti-poverty program proposed by Mayor Eric Garcetti would give free cash to some individuals…

Black run small business

One Expert’s Advice on How To Keep Supplier Diversity Programs From Failing Black-Owned Businesses

Despite a flood of promises to support Black business owners over the past year, many corporations are failing in their efforts to support social justice reform and improved diversity and inclusion programs. In fact, according to Denise Hamilton, an Inclusion strategist, keynote speaker, and the founder of Watch Her Work,…

Colorado judge resigns

Colorado Judge Who Used ‘N-Word,’ Proclaimed ‘All Lives Matter’ While in Court Censured and Forced to Resign

Following the murder of George Floyd in 2020, Colorado District Judge Natalie T. Chase reportedly asked two Black court employees to “explain” the Black Lives Matter Movement to her. She did this while cloaked and seated at her bench in the court. Upon hearing the explanation, she maintained that, in…

Princeton University

Princeton University Lands $20 Million Gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies Dedicated Towards Ongoing Diversity Efforts

Nestled quietly in the lush green farmland of central New Jersey, Princeton University is one of the smaller and more modest Ivy League schools in the country. But thanks to a new $20 million gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the school could also soon become a leader in the world of…

George Floyd Murder Trial

Nation Awaits Verdict in George Floyd Murder Trial, Americans Remain on Edge — and President Biden Prepares for Serious Potential Turmoil

After three weeks of riveting and emotionally draining testimony, attorneys for the defense and prosecution came to a rest on Monday, April 19, passing the fate of Derek Chauvin — the former Minneapolis police officer accused of the slow and painful murder of George Floyd — to the trial’s jury….

Flagship University The University of Maryland

Enrollment of Students of Color at Flagship Universities Continues to Decline

Many state’s “flagship” universities say diversity is a leading focus and priority when it comes to admissions, but a new look at data from these schools shows the reality: enrollment of students of color continues to lag. Flagship universities, such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the…

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey

Arizona Conservatives Attempt to Roll Back LGBTQ-Inclusive Curriculum in Schools

Republican lawmakers in Arizona have approved new laws revamping LGBTQ-inclusive education in schools, making it harder for educators to teach about historical events such as the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City that started the gay rights movement, discussions about sexual orientation or instruction of anything related to LGBTQ…