It’s 2019, yet people of color—especially women of color—get mistaken for one another on a regular basis. The New York Times recently misidentified Angela Bassett as Omarosa, and Muslim American Noor Tagouri was confused with Pakistani actress Noor Bukhari in Vogue’s February issue. Now, Gabrielle Union is the latest person to be mistaken for someone she’s definitely not—and she handled the situation like a pro.
Yesterday, February 13th, Fenty Beauty shared a picture of Union to Instagram in honor of Black History Month. The actress also appeared in the makeup brand’s Story. Although Union was tagged in both the post and the story, one fan made an unfortunate mistake, writing “Brandy!!!! I love her.” The Being Mary Jane actress wasted no time in setting the record straight.
And in case you need a pic for reference, THIS is Brandy:
While the original Instagram commenter probably just made an innocent mistake, the misconception that people of color “all look alike” is insidious and pervasive. And it can have serious consequences. In 2017, a Raw Story article misidentified Noor Tagouri (the same woman who was recently misidentified by Vogue) as the Pulse Nightclub shooter’s wife—which could have endangered her and her family’s lives.
It’s 2019, and we need to get better at looking closely and fact-checking.