Gabrielle Union‘s fun request of her stepsons turned into a lesson in colorism this summer.
The former “Being Mary Jane” star, who spoke to reporters at the AT&T Dream in Black Luncheon over the weekend, explained that when she asked husband Dwayne Wade‘s sons Zaire and Zion, and his nephew, Dahveon to show her photos of the cutest girls in their high school, only one complexion came up.
“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 according to Refinery29. “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?'”
Then, Union pulled up the Instagram page of singer and “Star” actress Ryan Destiny, which got praise from the boys.
“They’re like, ‘Oh, she bad!’ 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.”
This isn’t the first time Union has addressed the issue of colorism, which has also affected many actresses in Hollywood. On “Oprah’s Next Chapter” in 2013, the star of the upcoming “Bad Boys” offshoot explained there’s a colorism debate raging even in the party scene.
“With pop culture, they have clubs and parties,” she says. “Light-skinned versus dark-skinned girls. And you see the flyers … That is an actual promotion … one one side they’ll use a picture of like, Kelly Rowland and on the other side it’ll be like Ciara.”