Gabrielle Union makes life after 40 look as good, if not better than life in your 20’s. The actress, hair care entrepreneur, and author has been living her best life on the gram. At 48 years old, she admits that she recently tapped into what it means to fully love herself.
In an interview with Elle, she says, “I don’t think I fell back in love with myself until relatively recently, and some of that self-love has come from learning to embrace my natural beauty, especially my hair texture. I wore relaxers starting from the time I was eight and didn’t stop until my thirties.”
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Like Gabrielle, I had permed hair from about 7-years-old until my mid-twenties. Lots of women can adopt this hair story as their own. Growing up, parents felt it was easier to handle processed hair than to deal with our natural kinks and curls. Unfortunately it taught us that permed hair is easier to tame and viewed as the acceptable, professional way to manage your hair.
Breaking that mindset has been a journey for most Black women. As women begin to fully embrace their natural curls, it empowers others to explore different styles in the workplace. “I didn’t even wear braids professionally, which might’ve been the first time ever really—until Almost Christmas, which was five or six years ago. Something happened around my 40s where I just fell in love with myself. I emptied my basket of f*cks. And that’s the attitude I hope to pass onto my daughters—shameless self-love,” Gabrielle continued.
It always amazes me when a woman in her 40’s says she recently fallen in love with herself. It goes to show you, the journey to self-love is everlasting and ever-evolving. You will always rediscover a part of yourself that you didn’t know existed. And you’ll eventually learn to love that parts of yourself you once took for granted.