One glance at Mary J. Blige, and you’ll be convinced that the 50-year-old is drinking straight from the fountain of youth.
For much of that youthfulness, she credits one of the oldest body care brands around. “For years I’ve been using Gold Bond Ultimate Healing because I love how it moisturizes my body,” she tells ESSENCE. “It’s that lotion that I just can’t stay away from.” That’s why, when asked to partner with the brand for the #ChampionYourSkin campaign, a movement to uplift and amplify Black stuntwomen, she couldn’t say no.
“Championing my skin is important because the body goes through a lot, especially when you’re an actress. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen me on stage, but I’m just like an animal, I don’t mind getting dirty. That said, I want to be smooth and beautiful. As I age I don’t want to be wrinkled and ashy.”
She credits Black stuntwomen with helping her champion her skin while on set. “What I love about them is that they love what they do,” she says. “They take all the falls and the hits for us so that we can go to work the next day. You know, Mary J. Blige is not falling down the stairs and breaking her leg, or catching on fire. So they’re an extension of what makes us look great.”
However, Blige emphasizes that there’s not enough of them out there. “They’re painting a lot of white women’s skin, Black,” she says. “There’s not enough diversity within this category, so if I can use my platform to encourage more Black women to get into stunts, I will.”
Check out the full interview ahead to find out about Blige’s love for acting, her role in Respect, and the type of roles she’d like to play in the future.
With the #ChampionYourSkin campaign, Gold Bond is giving back to Diamond in the Raw, an organization founded by stuntwoman La Faye Baker. Contributions will support La Faye’s “Skin Champions Stunt Workshop,” a program geared toward helping more girls of color pursue their dreams in the stunt industry. Applications for the program are currently being accepted and the program is set to launch in June 2021.