Gabrielle Union does not need your approval.
In an interview with People, the 46-year-old actress and mother responded to those who think she should avoid kissing her newborn daughter Kaavia James on the mouth.
Union and her husband, Dwyane Wade, welcomed their first child together last November via surrogate after the actress endured numerous miscarriages.
“I had to hit the mommy shamers day one,” she admitted. “I’m going to do it my way. I’m sure I’m going to make all kinds of mistakes and when I ask for help, which I will, I would love to hear all y’all’s advice.”
Union has been very open about her struggles with infertility due to adenomyosis, and now she is just as open about the joys of raising her baby girl.
“Everybody has been on my journey of pain and anguish and trauma, and I owe it to myself to enjoy every second of my joy,” she said. “If you’ve been rocking with me, in my misery and my pain and my failures, I want you to enjoy my joys,” she continued.
But she emphasized that it’s OK to be a spectator, and not always offer up an unsolicited opinion.
“If you can’t just sit back and enjoy the miracles without offering every piece of advice Nana ever gave you, it’s okay to unfollow. It’s okay to just enjoy the ride.”
Union hopes that by standing up for the right to make her own choices in the public eye will give other mothers the courage to be confident in their decisions.
“As long as I feel good, as long as I feel confident, screw you. Look in the mirror and fix your own life,” she said in the magazine. “[I want to] give people that example of somebody who refuses to let anyone dictate what the hell I do or don’t do or say or don’t say.”
Though she isn’t afraid to clap back, Unions spends much of her day loving on the newest James in the household, baby Kaavia. She recently brought her daughter to a promotional campaign photo shoot for her most recent collection with New York and Company.
“If I don’t bring her, I will miss everything,” she said. “She changes every day.”