Gabrielle Union Speaks Out About Being Told Her Braids Weren't 'Work Appropriate'

'The idea that how you wear your hair somehow relates to your character, your intelligence, or your wokeness is bullshit.'

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It's no secret that within the larger media, there's been a recent series of incidents regarding women of colour and their hair. Not naming names (that would be unsisterly) but in the past few months it would be fair to say that the issue of representation for women of colour in the media has taken a few steps back, rather than much-needed strides forward.

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Speaking out on her own experiences of discrimination towards her appearance as a black actress, Gabrielle Union told Byrdie:

'There's a larger conversation with people of colour when it comes to our hair and our skin colour. People will try to lighten our skin tones and alter our hair, which says a lot of about how we feel about ourselves versus how other people feel about our blackness and textured hair. We need to showcase the fullness of our beauty.'

Personally, we're a little too obsessed with the 45-year-old who looks epic no matter what hair style she rocks. Curly, straight, twists - you name it, Union looks next level with it.

However, the actress doesn't always get a positive reception for her chameleon-esque style, with eurocentric beauty ideals often being enforced upon her against her wishes.

In particular, Union spoke out about the ongoing negative attitude towards braids and natural, textured hair and the misconception that these styles look 'unprofessional' or less appropriate for the workplace.

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'I was doing a project and with the character the producers were coming up with what they wanted to do for her hair', Union told Byrdie. 'I was like, "Well, I want to wear braids." And they went on to say, "We just really want her to look more polished". I said, "You all really don't understand what we're talking about here?"

Guys, it's 2017. Wearing jeans to the office doesn't negate your ability to do your job, having a nose piercing doesn't mean you have less respect for your boss, and wearing your hair in braids or embracing your glorious natural texture definitely doesn't make you unprofessional or less sophisticated.

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It's time for everyone to catch up. Or as Union puts it:

'We should embrace all of us on our hair journeys, wherever they take us. Not to quote Martin Luther King Jr., but let the content of someone's character actually determine how you treat them, not how they wear their hair.'

YAS.

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