Make-Up Free Gabrielle Union on Why Kaavia Is a 'Shady Baby'

Aby Rivas
Apr 26, 2019
08:20 P.M.
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Gabrielle Union is a natural beauty as she poses without makeup for the new issue of People magazine. The “Mary Jane” actress opened up about her “shady baby,” Kaavia James, and also talked about her new-found confidence.


In 2009, Gabby Union did her first ever photo shoot with no makeup. Now, the 46-year-old actress accepted People’s challenge to do it again, ten years later.


A lot has changed in Union’s life in the past years. She’s now married, has a daughter, three step-sons and a lot of new accomplishments career-wise.

"I think makeup can be a mask, and I think the older we get, that we feel like the more makeup we have, the better we look.”

But of all the new challenges Gabby has taken over the years, welcoming baby Kaavia James through surrogate was probably the hardest and most satisfactory one.



The almost five-month-old baby has earned the hearts of people all over social media thanks to the pics, videos and hilarious captions that Union posts on Instagram. And Kaavia, with her serious and sometimes judgy facial expressions, is now known as the “shady baby.

Although Union struggles to get smiles out of her bundle of joy, she couldn’t be happier with her girl.


“She's really her own person. She’s not here for our shenanigans," Gabby gushed to People. “If she doesn’t feel like being documented, which is most of the time, she gives you a look like ‘I don’t think you’ve talked to my agent and I’m not doing this for free.’”

“I Love that she’s shady baby, and shady baby is just somebody who is not going to dance for you when you say ‘now.’ She's got her own mind at four and a half months."

Union hopes Kaavia can keep that same energy as she grows up and always stays true to herself. “That’s the dream,” Union added.



Union recently confessed in an interview with Parents magazine, that she was worried about the criticism she would get for welcoming her daughter through a surrogate. She said:

“People want to see the bump, hear that you got hemorrhoids — they want to know you’re like them. I was like ‘This is going to seem like the most Hollywood s**t ever. Will I be embraced as a mom?’ It’s terrifying.”


However, all of Gabby’s worries were dissipated once Kaavia was born.

She admitted that in the past years, she has evolved a lot, and she has fully embraced herself. Part of that self-acceptance journey is loving her natural face with no makeup on.

“It’s how my friends and my husband and my loved ones appreciate me most,” she said. “Again, because I think makeup can be a mask, and I think the older we get, that we feel like the more makeup we have, the better we look.”

“I’ve made peace with: this is my face and I’m okay with it. It does all right by me,” she concluded.