If you're a fan like I am, you've been riding for Mrs. Gabrielle Union long before her days as Mary Jane on the hit BET show, Being Mary Jane. Who could forget about her role as Isis from Bring It On, Shawnee from Love & Basketball, or her role as Eva from my personal all time favorite movie, Deliver Us From Eva? It's safe to say this woman is booked, busy, and blessed! She's already an actress, wife, producer, business mogul, and entrepreneur, but this fierce female just added author to her already impressive resume and we are soooo here for it. Gabrielle Union's book, We're Going To Need More Wine hit stores Oct. 17, and Mrs. Union spills all the tea on her life and struggles, all while educating and inspiring readers to live authentically in their truth.
Speaking on race, love, and personal hardships, Union's first book hit stores on Oct. 17, and is a collection of memoir-style essays. If she wasn't already my favorite actress and a personal idol of mine, she most definitely is now.
Here are 10 lessons we can all take away from Gab.
1. Normalizing The Yeast Infection
When it comes to womanly needs, it's already awkward enough, so just imagine being a well known celebrity and having to go to the store to buy something the world has deemed "embarassing." Union goes on to speak about the soooo relatable experience she has in drug stores during that time of the month, or when she experiences a yeast infection and needs an over-the-counter fix.
It's 2017, so I'd say it's about time we start normalizing everyday feminine needs, and make it less uncomfortable for everyone. Moral of the story is this: Buy the tampon, buy the Monistat, and forget society's unsolicited opinions.
2. Big Bank Takes Little Bank
The title of one chapter in the book is called, "Big Bank Takes Little Bank,"where Gabrielle Union discusses the "woes" of being married to rich athlete, Dwayne Wade. Now before you go cry, "rich people problems" hear her out, she actually made some very important points.
Union, who has definitely achieved success in Hollywood and has the bank account to prove it, speaks about being the breadwinner in her past relationships before getting involved with Wade. While finally not having to pay for everything may be a blessing, her lifestyle and choices instantly changed. "It's a simple rule dictating that whoever has more money wins. Whatever your income bracket, whoever has the power of the bigger purse in the relationship usually has the final decision," she writes.
Union goes on to discuss compromising, financial changes, and the "lowballed" prenup she was given — all factors in her marriage. In the end, love conquered all, and the two will watch Nashville and Scandal for the rest of their lives.
3. There Is Life After Tragedy
As many may already know, Gabrielle Union is a victim of sexual assault. Despite a tragedy as extreme as rape happening to her in her early adult years, she does not let it define her. Although still suffering with post-traumatic stress syndrome 20 years since being assaulted, Union makes it her mission to not only speak out on her own experience, but to be the voice for all those still suffering in silence. She also encourages others to speak up and erase the shame rape victims often feel after their assault.
Despite an evil act happening to her at a young age, Union has gone on to become an iconic actress, producer, activist, entrepreneur, author, and avid advocate against sexual abuse, proving there is life AND success after tragedy.
4. Expanding Your Horizons
As a child, Union and her mother would tour open houses of homes. Not because they were seeking or could afford to live in such luxury, but simply to see how other people lived. "Your world is only as small as you make it," her mother would say.
It may seem like a weird thing to do on the surface, but there's a lot to be learned behind her mother's lessons. Union's mother indirectly instilled early on that life's possibilities are endless, and emphasized the stepping out of your comfort zone, expanding your horizon, and securing an education are all keys to a successful life.
With a career like Gabrielle's, looks like momma was right.
5. We've All Met A Queeshaun
Ever met a person that just hates your entire existence for no actual reason? You know who I'm talking about: that person that just has it out to get you for their own personal pleasure? Well, for Mrs. Union that person was Queeshaun.
Queeshaun was Union's childhood enemy, who simply hated her for dating a best friend's ex-boyfriend. Time and time again, Queeshaun would try to beat up Union, and tormented her for years. Union's sister Kelly often stepped in to protect her, but that still wasn't enough against the wrath of Queeshaun.
Union's solution was simply running for dear life on numerous occasions, before her and her friends realized this girl just doesn't like you, and accepting that for what it was. The point being, some people will have it out for you, and you may even be deathly afraid of them, but despite that..... prosper anyway.
As for Queeshaun in case you were wondering, she now lives in Atlanta, the city where Union shoots her hit show, Being Mary Jane.
6. "Light-skin" Vs. "Dark-skin"
Light-skin, dark-skin, and colorism are common conversations in the black community. Whether you are extremely fair skinned or filled with melanin, these circumstances have a lot to do with how you are treated in society — and Gabrielle Union can attest to that.
Growing up a dark skinned girl, Union viewed her mother as the most beautiful woman in the world, who was a fair-skinned woman she looked nothing like. According to Union, having a light skin complexion is what the Union family viewed as the standard of beauty, a belief many seem to agree with.
Witnessing light-skinned women get treated differently (solely because of their complexion) instilled a deep-rooted self-hate and insecurity for a young Gabrielle. It was so deep-rooted, that according to her book, it would take years to get past. With years of working on self-discovery and self-love, Union finally realized this entire light vs. dark skin debate is complete nonsense instilled to separate the black community.
Union states, "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. The standard of beauty and intelligence, that has historically been praised by the oppressor, has been adopted by the oppressed."
Today, Union embraces her beautiful melanin enriched skin, and encourages others to love the skin they're in.
7. The Woes of Black Hair
After all these years, black hair is still as controversial as the beginning of time. While now we have naturalistas, and natural gurus to pave the way in our black girl acceptance, for a young Gabrielle, that wasn't the case. Growing up already self-conscious with her skin tone, she decided if she couldn't lighten her skin. she could at least straighten her hair, and so she did.
Union goes on to share an experience about getting a perm as a child, one that didn't quite turn out as she imagined. Spending years seeking the validation of her peers, Union ultimately realized your hair doesn't really say much about who you truly are. "Your hair is not going to determine or even influence what kind of person you are," she said.
Embracing who she is, Union has since grew out her natural hair, still rocks her weaves as she desires, and has even launched her own hair care line, Flawless.
8. Thank God for Judy Blume
One thing I realized Gab and I have in common is our appreciation for Judy Blume. If you don't know who Judy Blume is, she is an author who created sex novels that changed modern day teaching. Her books consisted of sexually free, open and honest characters simply trying to figure life out.
Now, at 23 years old, I realize these books were probably way too advanced for children, but nevertheless, Judy Blume was our teacher.
Gabrielle Union speaks on informing young adults about sex. She doesn't believe in withholding information and believes it's a necessary topic that should be discussed. While some parents completely stray from the topic with the idealistic notion that their kids aren't sexually active, Union believes in open and honest discussion when speaking about sex.
9. Sex should be enjoyed
"I want people to make informed, joyful choices about sex. Because I love sex." Union boldly writes in chapter two, titled, "Sex Miseducation."
It's safe to say that Gabrielle Union is a sexually liberated woman and she's not afraid to speak on it. During her single years she loved having options and sexual variety and she wasn't ashamed of it.
So often society puts a stigma, especially on women, about what we can or can't do with our bodies. Union encourages everyone to make free necessary choices and own every aspect of their sexuality, regardless of society's unsolicited opinions.
Union writes, "Explore the full range of everything and feel zero shame. Don't let society's narrow scope about what they think you should do with your vagina determine what you do with your vagina."
10. Being Black In Hollywood
From movements like #Oscarssowhite or simply turning on our television screens, it's evident that Hollywood is not very diverse. The black actors/actresses of Hollywood are a close-knit community. This community consists of hard working people who most importantly understand the struggle of being black in Hollywood.
Union goes on to share her casting experiences, and speaks about being in the room with the same few black actresses time and time again. These women would often be auditioning for the same role because most times they only needed one black actress.
As her career rose to success, those black actresses who waited in those same rooms, found success as well. Gaining recognition and success together created a bond for these women throughout the years.
Thanks Gab. Keep Inspiring, we're so proud of you !