I decided a few weeks ago to give Gabrielle Union's "We're Going to Need More Wine" a try after being shamefully aware that I was seven months late to the program. Prior to my decision, I stopped and thought if I was truly a Gabrielle fan. Well, I admire how she represents and goes hard for dark skinned women and on top of that is overwhelmingly stunning. I side eyed the Toros in Bring It On alongside her through my TV screen. And, I always watch Deliver Us from Eva whenever it comes on.
Whether I was a "true" fan didn't matter because regardless I was interested in learning more about a Black woman who with two decades in the game was firmly seated at the Hollywood table.
The autobiography begins with Gabrielle's adolescent years growing up in the predominately white Pleasanton, California. She then delves into her self discovery summers in Ohama, Nebraska and her mean girl phase that began in elementary school.
I found myself reading through chapters thinking, "No wonder she acts those mean girl roles so well!" and took my thoughts to Twitter. I personally have never called myself a mean girl, but by throwing shade towards a woman I didn't even know personally and before even getting halfway through her book, I was definitely being a mean girl!
A "mean girl" isn't always the one that's in your face and cursing you out. They are also girls that throw subtle shots while cleaning their hands off from being labeled as the bad guy. Or, they are the ones questioning everyone's life, but their own.
For instance, there have been many times where I would wonder why certain people were getting success and accolades. See how the key word there that I would think was getting and not earning. Does that make me a hater? Hell yeah.
By initially not thinking the best of Gabrielle for her past, I was being super judgmental. She describes her own past experiences of being bitter as, "Tap dancing on people's misery". Whew, the Scorpio JUMPED out. (Just kidding, all love to the Scorpios out there).
The fact that I've never explicitly put someone down doesn't make me better than someone who has if my thoughts towards others aren't always pure and I didn't have best interest at heart. There are folks out there that love saying, "I have no friends because people can't handle the truth." No Susan, you have no friends because news flash: you're being a b*tch.
People including myself sometimes have this weird thing where we try to prove to ourselves that we're better than Person X because we don't partake in XYZ. This is such a false notion because while we're looking down on them with our noses pointed in the air, they're living their best life while we're left unhappy. Try to flip it any way you want to, but it's all insecurities as Gabrielle points out.
She further discussed it on one of the most refreshing and necessary shows, Red Table Talk, with Jada Pinkett-Smith. A moment with her trainer got her all the way together by Gabrielle realizing how her low self-esteem was being put on display for the whole world to see through all of her negativity.
It doesn't matter if you're a goddess like Ms. Union, everyone has insecurities. But what's critical is: Are you using your insecurities as justification to put people around you down or are you uplifting people in hopes that you'll catch up and win together? Too often we don't want to self-reflect and we then label our detrimental behavior as being "just the way I am". A person who never points out their wrongs, vices or weaknesses is a person that is living for others and not themselves which of course, leads to unhappiness.
Too often we claim we "just want to be happy", but we're too busy scrolling on social media pouting because Ashley is living the life we "deserve". You better put your phone down and sit and think about what actually makes you happy past the shallow level. If you're stuck, it's time for change in your life.
Whether it be finding peace and love through God's word or declaring that you're no longer settling for mediocrity. No one is going to hand you a platter of happiness. You have to learn about yourself, grow from your tore up in shambles past and take what's rightfully yours.
I commend Gabrielle for being so open in her book to the point where it's too easy for readers to talk sh*t. I learned her powerful story that's filled with grief and healing and have grown a newfound respect for her.
Through her own personal growth and vulnerability, readers like me can perform a self-examination of things that we need to hold ourselves accountable for. And, to be honest with ourselves being that we're the only person responsible for which direction our lives will go.
I'm interested in a talk show hosted by her where guests indulge in wine and connect over past life regrets and hopes for the future. Someone get Oprah on the phone.