Gabrielle Union felt ‘powerful’ while photographed by Black woman

Gabrielle Union said her photo shoot for Women's Health magazine was a standout experience. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

Sept. 9 (UPI) — Gabrielle Union says she felt “powerful” while being photographed by a Black woman for Women’s Health magazine.

The 47-year-old actress said on Tuesday’s episode of “Good Morning America” that her photo shoot for the magazine’s October issue was a standout experience.

Union said the cover marked the first time she was shot by a Black female photographer in her career. Photographer Djeneba Aduayom captured the images of Union.

“I don’t think I’ve ever felt more powerful,” Union said. “It was the first time shooting a cover with a Black female photographer and I’ve been in the business 25 years — so it’s unfortunate that it took that long to happen, but it just felt so empowering to be shot by a Black woman.”

In addition, Union said the cover marked the first time she wore her hair in a natural style for a magazine shoot.

“No wigs or clips or weaves or anything, just my own natural curls, and I felt so amazing — I was fully in my body and I felt like my most authentic self,” she said.

Union shared behind-the-scenes photos from the shoot on Instagram last week.

“It was the 1st time feeling truly like myself in front of the camera. The me that my loved ones see everyday. The me that fights daily for my peace and the peace of others. The imperfect warrior that’s lost more battles than I’ve won, but still keeps on fighting,” she captioned the post. “At this grown ass age, I feel like I’m finally ME. And I can breathe.”

Union’s shoot comes amid calls for increased representation of Black creatives. Photographer Annie Leibovitz, who is White, faced criticism in July after photographing Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, who is Black, for Vogue. Some criticized Leibovitz’s lighting and capture of Biles’ skin.

Union plays Syd Burnett on the Spectrum Originals series “L.A.’s Finest,” which will premiere its second season Wednesday. She is married to professional basketball player Dwyane Wade.


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