Gabriel Union is on the October cover of Women’s Health Magazine and for the first time ever she is rocking her natural curls.
In an Instagram post on her Flawless By Gabrielle Union page, she shared few of the photos from the shoot with a caption
“These flawless photos on the latest cover of Women’s Health of @gabunion are just fire. She rocked her natural tresses for the first time during a cover shoot and achieved this healthy, curly, and fuss-free look with products from the Collection detailed below:”
Swipe through these pictures:
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These flawless photos on the latest cover of Women’s Health of @gabunion are just ???. She rocked her natural tresses for the first time during a cover shoot and achieved this healthy, curly and fuss free look with products from the Collection detailed below: Hydrating Detangling Shampoo 3 Minute Restoring Conditioner Detangling Leave-In Conditioner Shine Enhancing Heat Protection Spray Restoring Exotic Oil Treatment #FlawlessByGU #FlawlessBeauties
How Gabriel Union is navigating this period of unrest and the pandemic
During this moment in America when we are talking about a racial reckoning—amid the pandemic that is disproportionately killing Black people and protests against police violence
after the killing of George Floyd—it bears reminding that whatever signs of progress are held up as justice, it really rarely happens that way for Black women.
If it happens at all. Throughout history, Black women have been oversexualized, undervalued, cast as mammies or superwomen, and then always, at the end of the day, expected to save the world.
Seldom is their justice for Black women, almost never does our health and wellness matter in these prioritized efforts at systemic change.
I’ve seen it, Gabrielle has seen it, all Black women have borne witness to this, over and over again. And we all manage this blatant and seemingly endless disparity differently.
For Gabrielle—and in this particular moment—it’s the therapy that helped her manage expectations while allowing her to access her freedom. “I feel different in my body. I feel freer.”
Still, while cautiously optimistic about better and more equal opportunities in the future, she’s not sold. “I’m not going to factor in change I have yet to see,” she says.
“For the most part, across all industries, you see the same power structure that existed before George Floyd.
All of these initiatives that people are so excited about—if the people at the top haven’t changed, and they’re not interested in creating more space up here, how far are these people that we’re bringing in going?”
Staying engaged in this context says Gabrielle, is about harnessing that hard-earned freedom and turning it into agency.
Whether through her affordable hair-care products and clothing collection with New York & Co., or by being on the lookout for books and scripts by Black writers to adapt and produce, she is committed to holding space for other Black folks in her professional life.
“I want to make sure that everything that is working for me is available to as many people as possible.”
Because she knows what Black feminists, of which she considers herself one, have always maintained: “We’re not free until everyone is free.”
She thinks back to the hummingbird and mentions other creatures—rabbits, mice, bees—living in the natural habitat she’s surrounded by since moving outside of L.A. a few months ago.
The hummingbird made it out from the rafters, but the bees are not faring so well, says Gabrielle, who’s allergic to them.
“Normally, I would be like, ‘Bees!’ But I’ve found a weird peace being surrounded by a lot of them. Yet they’re dying.
All-day long, I find these dead bees. I’m feeling—I won’t say grief-stricken, that might be overselling it—but I’m mourning our little bee brothers and sisters.”
Gabrielle pauses before sharing a small epiphany. “I think I was brought to this home for a reason.
Finding that peaceful balance with nature, and understanding that we moved into their space,” she says. “This is so not my normal language, but I don’t have other words to describe it.”
There’s an ease in her discomfort, though, as she gives in to the wonder of it all. “Maybe it’s just about looking at a bee or a hummingbird that’s trapped, and thinking, There’s another way, and I’ve got to find it, because my soul won’t rest until I figure it out.” Gabrielle’s peaceful pursuit: a work in progress, always.
For more context read her entire editorial here.
Photographed by Djeneba Aduayom Styled by Thomas Kikis at The Wall Group. Hair: Larry Sims at forwarding Artists for Flawless. Makeup: Sir John at Management + Artists for L’Oréal. Manicure: Thuy Nguyen using OPI at A-Frame Agency.
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