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Gabrielle Union Speaks on Surprising Backlash Over Dyeing Her Hair Blonde

gabrielle union blonde hairstyleGabrielle Union joined Essence Magazine for its first ‘Upfronts’ breakfast yesterday with a panel that included Iman, Bethann Hardison and beauty blogger Afrobella.

One panel, Smart Beauty 7, was moderated by Essence’s editor-at-large Mikki Taylor. According to, who attended the event, both Union and Hardison, who’s been fighting for diversity in the fashion industry for years, dished on black women wearing weaves and dyeing their hair blonde.

Hardison stated:

“I remember when black girls started to have weaves. I was there the day that started. And then, when black women started to dye their hair blonde, oh my God, that conversation: ‘What are they doing? Who are they trying to look when they have blonde hair?’ Now, it’s very normal.”

Union retorted:

“No, it’s not normal. It was a brouhaha when I changed my hair to blonde for a movie and [I received] questions about my character and my blackness! I was like, ‘umm, I thought that it was pretty clear that it was for a job.’ But even if it wasn’t for a job, it’d be my choice. It feels like my choice — or what they thought was my choice — to be somehow closer to white reflected on everybody.”

Are you surprised Union received such flack while Beyonce hasn’t ditched her blonde weave in years?



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