Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Gabrielle Union looks absolutely radiant for the December cover of ESSENCE magazine. The 40-something-year old actress is sitting pretty in a cream colored Bibhu Mohapatra gown and Stella Valle earring with styling by fashion maven June Ambrose.

Union has a lot to smile about these days and she prepares for the launch of her highly anticipated new BET series, Being Mary Jane. The former self-proclaimed ‘mean girl’, who was notorious for ‘reveling in gossip or rumors about her Hollywood peers,’ claims that she has left all of the drama behind her and is taking a higher road to success and happiness.

“There’s this intense desire for us all to be chosen by a man, or a job, or chosen for fame, whatever. But when you’re in the public eye and you’re not chosen, the rejection feels public,” says Union. “So to cover the wound, you attack the person who is chosen.”

Union also gives props to Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes and says that her audition for the show was empowering even though she lost the role to Kerry Washington.

“Going in for Scandal, Shonda [Rhimes] empowered every Black woman who came through her door,” she admitted. “Even if I don’t get the next job, or the next five jobs, I don’t want to be treated less than how Shonda treated me.”

Look for Union in Being Mary Jane when it airs on BET January 7. The December issue of ESSENCE hits newsstands on November 8.

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