Gabrielle Union understands there is a steep social and familial cost associated with becoming a successful thespian (Think Like Man, Think Like a Man Too, “Being Mary Jane”). Despite that knowledge, the wife of marquee NBA star Dwayne “D-Wade” Wade said she still feels shame for not baring children with one of the sports most marketable athletes.
D-Wade’s wife opens up in a Redbook about the dual urges raging constantly inside of her — the desire for a successful movie and TV career set against that motherly yearning to finally have a child of her own.
Union, who along with D-Wade made PeopleStyle’s best-dressed couple, says that while she and her husband are a great team, she does occasionally notice their nearly 10-year age difference.
“His teammates, were conceived when I was, like, a senior in high school. I was in high school at the same time as their parents!” she says. “Sometimes he’ll be like, ‘Oh, my God, he’s so old!’ about someone who’s 35. But, Dwyane’s an old 33, and I’m a young 42, so it balances out.”
Union also wants to start a family and kind of feels bad that it hasn’t happened yet.
“So far, it has not happened for us. A lot of my friends deal with this,” she explains. “There’s a certain amount of shame that is placed on women who have perhaps chosen a career over starting a family younger. The penance for being a career woman is barrenness. You feel like you’re wearing a scarlet letter.”
There is the ever-present fear of the inevitable Hollywood backlash once she conceives a baby.
“The reality is that women are discriminated against in the workplace for being mothers. As much as there are strides being made — you get pregnant, your career takes a hit,” she says. “You can’t have a bad day. Don’t you dare cry at work. Don’t raise your voice. Especially if you’re a black woman in corporate America — now you’re ‘the angry black woman.’”
Photos: Redbook, Gabrielle Union Instagram