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‘I Had Never Felt a Piece of Handsome’: Tyrese Gibson Talks About The Damaging Effects of Colorism During His Childhood

Actor Tyrese Gibson is speaking candidly about his traumatizing experience with colorism. During an episode of TV One’s “Uncensored,” which aired on Sunday, Sept. 13, the 41 year old detailed the mental and emotional struggle he endured because he was teased about his darker skin.

The Grammy-nominated singer explained that colorism, coupled with constant criticism and jokes, shaped who he was as an adult. “I had never felt a piece of handsome,” the actor admitted in a preview clip. He continued, “I had never felt a piece of being cute. I had never heard compliments throughout my childhood. I never got any attention from the ladies.”

Tyrese said his ex-wife defied a court order by leaving the country and dropping their daughter over a friend's house.
Tyrese Gibson talks candidly about experiencing colorism during his childhood and its lasting effects. (Tyrese Gibson’s Instagram account)

The “Fast And Furious” franchise star said not only was he overlooked because of his skin tone, but he was shunned for it as well. “I caught every joke in the dark skin community ever. I was Black burnt, tarp. I was all teeth and eyes. I was blurple—Black and purple, and I just never felt attractive, ever,” Gibson said.

However, the “Transformer” star said that his professional success helped boost the confidence he did not have growing up. “And after I had that moment, it did more for my confidence than you could ever imagine because it was a high that I would hope to experience for the rest of my life,” he said. The star also credited “the favor from the Lord Jesus Christ” for seeing him through.

During the interview, Gibson also dives into memories with the late John Singleton with whom he worked with on the 2000’s film “Baby Boy.” The star also spoke on fatherhood, his marriage, and how his wife’s faith and support impacted him as he moved toward a path of full self-confidence. The singer also revealed how his hit record, “Sweet Lady” came to life, although it almost didn’t because when Tyrese first heard it from a producer he didn’t care for it.

This season of “Uncensored” features not only Gibson, but also rapper Eve, Yandy Smith-Harris, Omari Hardwick, Jenifer Lewis, and Debbie Allen. “Uncensored” can also be viewed on Philo, a new streaming service that offers over 50 channels to view live or on-demand.

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