"Tell me about your hair," says Gabrielle Union in a video shared to Instagram on July 11. She's wearing pajamas, and at the crook of her arm rests her daughter Kaavia James Union Wade, who replies, "My hair is puffy." Through a series of prompts - like "what's mommy's hair?" and "is it beautiful?" - the actor gets the 3-year-old to proudly praise her hair as she runs her fingers through it.
This routine, Union says, is one of the ways she's teaching her daughter self-love, which is a "full time job with no days off but I approach it as an act of love." Union writes in her caption, "From the time Black girls are born, folks are checking our ears and nail beds to see how dark we might be or the incessant commentary about what 'grade' of hair our kids might have. All our parts are up for discussion and often times, scorn."
Union has always emphasized self-love, especially surrounding hair, in her parenting. In 2020, Union shared a photo of herself and Kaavia, who was just one at the time, "rocking their natural curls." She added, "Mama's got hair like yours." Confidence is also at the center of Union's second children's book, "Shady Baby," inspired by Kaavia. In her latest post, Union also shouted out "Most Perfect You," a new picture book by Jazmyn Simon about self-acceptance.
"I want Kaav to feel beautiful and powerful in EVERY room she walks into no matter who is standing next to her. Her beauty, her power, her love, is HERS. I want her to be free of Eurocentric beauty ideals and embrace all our glory," Union added. "She will know that loving all of herself in no way diminishes the love that others have for themselves. Being unique and amazing arent qualities reserved for a few, they are our birthright and we claim it."