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It’s hard to imagine Gabrielle Union not embracing her gorgeous brown skin and beautiful smile, not to mention her talent as an actress, but the famous lady who’ll turn 40 next month (crazy, right?) admits that was the case when she was a child. Covering the October issue of Ebony, and with a six-page spread inside, Gabrielle exposed the self-esteem issues she battled as a younger woman and even shares advice she would have given herself in her early years. Here’s a bit of what she said:

“Your deep mahogany skin may not resemble that of the others in your family, but it’s just as gorgeous and you’re just as worthy… One day you’ll appreciate how much your brown skin shines in the moonlight, glistens in the sun and ages ever so slowly. Don’t let that pesky low self-esteem creep in and fool you into believing that you don’t have value…don’t allow it to crush your will or dampen your spirit…”

The fabulous lady who is the star of BET’s upcoming series “Being Mary Jane” is also the star of her own romantic feature with Miami Heat basketball player Dwyane Wade. When the magazine asked for her thoughts on the secret to lasting love, she had this to say:

“Don’t let other people’s needs, wants, desires, fantasies, hopes or dreams dictate your choices and decisions. Follow your own path, and don’t worry that you’re being selfish or disloyal,” she says. “Never worry about love…real love will find you…an incredible love with an incredible man…there is a beautifulrainbow at the end of your storm.…”

Gabby definitely seems to be basking in every color of the rainbow at the end of her stormy divorce from ex-husband Chris Howard. To read more about Gabrielle’s personal past, present, and future, check out the October issue of Ebony on newsstands September 10.

What do you think about the snippet of Gabby’s advice to her younger self?