Why we’re crushing hard on Gabrielle Union

Gabrielle Union, who currently stars as the titular protagonist in the highly acclaimed BET television show Being Mary Jane (which just began its third season), is someone whose talent and beauty was first introduced to me in the 1999 film 10 Things I Hate About You.

Since then, not only have I been barely able to restrain myself from watching anything she’s involved in, but I’ve grown to respect Union past her unparalleled onscreen talent for her willingness to speak out about societal issues, her relationship style, her beauty and wardrobe, and everything in between. Fun fact: Earlier this year, she requested and gave a second interview to Yahoo! Style after she felt her first was a bit more rushed than she’d wanted it to be after a long photoshoot day, so she could give better and more thoughtful answers to the questions she was asked. Poise, talent, beauty, and grace? CHECK.

There are so honestly many amazing things about Union that I can’t even wait to start listing them. So without further ado, here are the reasons Gabrielle Union is our #WCW this week and always!

She isn’t afraid to speak candidly about some REALLY important issues

Aside from generating important discussion surrounding institutional racism and how we can combat it and progress, Union is a known supporter of Planned Parenthood. She has written and spoken countless times about the importance of women’s health initiatives, such as breast-cancer screenings.

Along with the likes of Scarlett Johansson and Natasha Lyonne, Union even designed a T-shirt for Planned Parenthood as part of their Action Fund’s Women Are Watching campaign, whose mission is to educate young voters about women’s about women’s rights in regards to their health and bodies.

As a survivor of sexual assault, Union is also a huge supporter of speaking out about how these scenarios often go overlooked and how women are unfairly blamed or, at the very least, not taken seriously. She served as an advocate for the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women, after being personally contacted by President Obama to do so. Last year, she posted the following image on Instagram to support Texas teenager Jada, who was raped at a party and consequently had to endure images of the event being passed around and going viral on social media. Union’s post was accompanied by the caption, “Rape is never funny. Ever. This brave young woman is what a real life superhero looks like… Someone who stands up and acts when injustice occurs. She’s just a child and she’s using her voice for good, even in the face of her own personal horror… My hero #IStandWithJada”.

Her beauty, fashion, and basically entire lifestyle choices are ON. POINT.

It’s no secret that Union is absolutely stunning. If she wrote a book on beauty routines and how to keep your skin and teeth and hair (and WHO AM I KIDDING, EVERYTHING ELSE) beautiful, I would devour it immediately and follow any and all wisdom she’d be gracious enough to impart on the masses.

But she also consistently has the best style I’ve literally ever seen. She physically cannot wear anything less than flawlessly. Case in point: basically her entire Instagram account.

No but really, even Vogue is drooling.

Here she is in bed, maybe after just waking up, and serving perfection.

She even wears workout clothes well. Meanwhile, I’m over here like, “I’ve had this workout tank a while now. Maybe I should think about upgrading to one without holes…tomorrow.”

She has played some of our favorite iconic teen-movie roles

One of my favorite roles of Union’s is that of Bianca Stratford’s best friend, Chastity Church, in 10 Things I Hate About You – mainly because it’s the first thing I remember Union from, and of course for the trite-yet-hilarious conversations between the characters (whose personalities are obviously worlds different from that of Union herself).

But Union might be more widely recognized for her character Isis in Bring it On, whose leadership skills and willingness to stop at nothing to prove the worth of her and her teammates is still worthy of admiration to this day. And Union still appreciates the (well-deserved) love she gets for her turn as Isis, having posted the following image in celebration of the film’s recent 15-year anniversary.

She even got back together with the cast recently to do a reunion photoshoot for Entertainment Weekly! Eeeee! My 15-year-old self is still screaming.

She gives us all the relationship/parenting/family goals

Gabrielle Union and her basketball-star husband Dwayne Wade, who were married in August of last year, are the epitome of adorable. Of Wade, the three stepsons she is now proud to call her own, and her other family members as well, Union told PEOPLE this summer that she does family with “a lot of cheesy love. And that works for us, and that’s how we family.”

Speaking of cute and cheesy love, here’s the duo on their wedding day, clearly showing their hilarious personalities and fun dynamic.

And a more recent photo of them being adorable at Union’s “School Daze”-themed birthday party, showing that the only thing that has changed since their wedding day is their clothes.

“She’s appreciative of how hard I work and loving goes a long way,” Wade told PEOPLE of Union for an article posted, appropriately, on Valentine’s Day this year. “She’s in support of my career, my choices, and when you’re the man of the family sometimes you have to make choices and she supports me in them, good or bad, and that’s unmatched, so I’m appreciative.”

As if his words aren’t enough for us to applaud how amazing she is, here’s Union mid French-fry bite, supporting her husband by giving someone on the court a piece of her mind. As you can see, the woman next to her made the wise decision to get out of the way a little.

But Union has also made it clear that as much as she loves her husband, she is her own woman and will continue to be. She has spoken candidly about why she and Wade opted to sign a prenuptial agreement, telling Yahoo! Style, “I want people to know the work that it took to get through UCLA, that I had student loans and worked. I was eating Top Ramen and lived well below my means. Now that it’s time to get married to a man who happens to play basketball and has done well for himself, I want to make it clear that I have in no way hitched my wagon to his star. I have my own wagon and star.”

Can she and Wade just adopt us?

She’s just as obsessed with good TV as we are

From Scandal to How to Get Away with Murder, Union is no stranger to the “OMG, DID THAT JUST HAPPEN!?” TV-related tweet we all know and love.

And while some of us are tweeting about Gilmore Girls 10 years too late (but hey, shout out to Netflix!), it’s still nice to know someone as amazing as Gabrielle Union is kinda just like us. Now excuse me while I go scroll through the rest of her Instagram account and lose track of time until Friday.

[Images via BET, Buena Vista Pictures, and Instagram]

Filed Under