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In 2013, while receiving the Fierce and Fearless award at the Essence Women in Hollywood luncheon, Gabrielle Union gave a rousing speech where she admitted that for years, she was something of a mean girl to her fellow Black female actresses. She was honest about the fact that she didn’t want to see her colleagues triumph if her opportunities were going to be reduced in some way by their success.

Gabrielle Union WCW

“I used to shrink in the presence of other dope, beautiful women,” she said. “I used to revel in gossip and rumors and I lived for the negativity inflicted upon my sister actresses or anyone I felt whose shine diminished my own. I took joy in people’s pain and I tap danced on their misery.”

But after some hard work, including help from life coach, trainer and actress AJ Johnson (who pulled her aside in a room after she was caught talking poorly about someone), Union said she changed her way of thinking.

“Real fierce and fearless women celebrate and compliment other women and we recognize and embrace the notion that their shine in no way diminishes our light, and that it actually makes our light shine brighter.”

Years later, she has become the more outspoken individual she hoped to be while giving her speech in 2013. That includes speaking in the hopes of celebrating women in her circle and those who inspire her whom she doesn’t know. As she put it, “I decided it’s time I start recognizing all the dope women in my life, whether I know them personally, or look up to them from afar.” Every Wednesday is known as Woman Crush Wednesday (or #WCW) on social media. Union has used each Wednesday for the last few months to uplift a variety of lovely women, and it’s amazing to see. Check out what she had to say about these ladies and prepare to feel some warm fuzzies at the sisterly support.

Deirdre Maloney

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