Tia Mowry-Hardrict emotionally opened up to her fans about an experience she had with racism when her show “Sister, Sister” was on air, and how she wishes she had spoken up for herself.
During a video conversation with ET Online’s “Unfiltered” about life, beauty tips and challenges she has faced, the actor began crying as she shared a specific moment of discrimination that she experienced along with her twin, Tamera Mowry-Housley.
“It was around ‘Sister, Sister’ days. The show was extremely popular. We were beating — like in the ratings — ‘Friends’ around that time,” Mowry-Hardrict said in the video, which was posted to ET Online’s YouTube channel. “My sister and I wanted to be on the cover of this very popular magazine at the time. It was a teenage magazine. We were told that we couldn’t be on the cover of the magazine because we were Black and we would not sell.”
Through tears, the 42-year-old added that the incident still affects her even now as an adult.
“How someone could demean your value because of the color of your skin — I will never forget that. I will never forget where I was,” she said. “And I wish I would have spoke up. I wish I would have said something then. I wish I would’ve had the courage to speak out and say that that wasn’t right.”
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Mowry-Hardrict said the lesson she learned that day taught her to always tell her children how much she values them.
“I’m always telling my beautiful brown-skinned girl that she is beautiful … And the same thing even with my son. I tell him how handsome he is. He’s smart,” she said. “Because I know what it feels like for someone that you’ve looked up to devalue your worth, and I don’t want my children to ever, ever, ever feel that — and not have the strength or the foundation to not believe it. To believe that they are worthy.”
Earlier in the interview, Mowry-Hardrict shared other hardships she endured as a “young Black girl in the spotlight.”
“I was insecure. I used to take diet pills. I would also feel insecure about my hair because being young and being in this business, I never saw girls like me,” she said. “I never saw girls that were embracing their curls. I never saw curly hair being portrayed as beautiful.”
Mowry went on to say that she’s happy more women of color are on television and film today, adding that representation helps her “embrace my natural beauty.”
The “Sister, Sister” star made headlines earlier this year when Netflix announced that it would be adding the series to its repertoire on Sept. 1. There have also been rumors of a series reboot, but it’s unclear if and when that will be happening. So for now, if you want more Tia (and Tamera), you can watch the classic ’90s series on the streaming service now.
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