Gabrielle Union Talks Body Shaming, Tampons & Monistat With Health Magazine

Being Mary Jane

Gabrielle Union is the cover star for the September issue of Health magazine, and inside, the 44-year-old beauty talks about how body shaming keeps her motivated to stay in shape.

When asked about her workout regimen, Union credits her trainer for pushing her to stay healthy and fit.

“I work with a trainer for the most part,” she said. “I do know how to train myself, but I’ve realized that if someone’s not waiting for me, I do not feel obligated to get up.”

She continued, “I’m not one of those people, like, ‘I can’t start my day without it.’ Nope. I can actually start my day beautifully, sleeping in, eating some pancakes. But I work out because I have a family history of diabetes and heart disease. Knowing what I can do to prevent that has been a huge thing. And then there’s my job. Knowing that there are people who cannot wait to circle your fat and draw an arrow to it keeps me in the gym.”

Body shaming, which is what all the cool kids are into on social media, also keeps Gabby hitting the gym.

“I learn my lesson from other people,” she said. “So between fearing health issues and fearing ‘Stars, they’re just like us! Look at their cellulite!’—that keeps me in the gym. Then when I get in there, I get competitive and won’t leave. I basically have the Olympics happening in my mind with strangers. They don’t realize we’re competing, but I usually take gold. Mainly because they’ve left.”

Speaking of social media, Union revealed how she has dealt with trolls and online criticism.

“If it kinda strikes a nerve, I need to know who said it,” she said. “I deep dive into their social media. No one who’s ever said anything super negative to me has an amazing life. Once I realized that it’s different than, like, J.Lo saying, ‘Her squat form wasn’t right.’ Because she would know. But you, in your mom’s basement, really?”

Union also jokes about a story she will share in her upcoming book, “We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True,” about people who approach her while she’s out shopping for feminine hygiene products.

“I have a tampon story,” Union said. “I write about how it’s impossible to go buy tampons as a known person because people are like, ‘Oh, super plus, huh? Heavy flow?’ They want to know those intimate details, and what is more intimate than something that literally goes inside my vagina? Whenever I go into a drugstore—flop sweat! Much less, if I have an itch and I need to buy Monistat. When me and D were dating and I was getting my birth control, the pharmacist was like, “When are you guys gonna have kids?” I was like, ‘No time soon,’ waving the packet.”

Check out the rest of Union’s interview over at

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