Actress Gabrielle Union has years of experience in the entertainment industry, which means she knows a thing or two when it comes to maintaining hair and beauty standards in a society that prioritizes Eurocentric looks.
But as the actor has matured, so has her take on accepting her natural beauty, from the roots of her hair to her melanated skin. In fact, embracing her authentic self has become a “radical” act of self-love that she is passing down to her and Dywane Wade’s daughter Kaavia.
“I’m certainly releasing my kids from that [need to appease white beauty standards]. I want them to be the best versions of themselves without centering Eurocentric beauty ideals and the white gaze, and white validation,” Union explained to Madamenoire.
The first-time mother loves sharing photos and videos of her busy body toddler who is often seen on Instagram serving a side eye along with the occasional moments of smile and laughter. And although thousands of fans comment on how adorable the two-year-old is, there are those who find themselves concerned with the toddler’s tresses not being styled to perfection.
“I’m human. I see comments where they’re like, “That child’s hair is never done.” says Union.
Her response is both practical and matter of fact considering her priority is not to run behind Kaavia every moment of every day to ensure every hair is in place.
“You’ll see her like that on occasion. But regular Kaav is going to run around here during a pandemic after swim class and it’s going to be what it is. You’ll see her natural curls. You’ll also see that they’re going to be moisturized. That’s more of what I care about, hair health, not the style,” says Union.
The “Being Mary Jane” star even launched her own hair care line, Flawless Curls, in 2017 as a response to the feeling of not belonging as a child with ‘different’ hair from her white peers.
“Your hair is a part of you and it’s an extension of you, but it has to start with self-love and pride in your Blackness and Afrocentric features, whether that be your hair, your nose, your lips or your body,” Union said to PEOPLE in July 2020. “And let your curls do what they do.”