California Love: Gabrielle Union's Costumed Birthday Bash Took Us to Our Happy Place

Screenshot: Universal Pictures (YouTube)

California knows how to party—and when your birthday falls two days before Halloween, it’s bound to be a costume party. In celebration of her family’s recent relocation of their primary residence to Los Angeles, Gabrielle Union jumped in the way-back machine to bring us back to a happier time and place, California-style.

Yes, we know 2000 was the year George W. Bush made it to the Oval Office (damn those hanging chads!), but it was also the year that brought us Union’s big breakthrough, as she and the fictional East Compton Clovers squared off against Kirsten Dunst and those bitin’-ass Toros in the cult classic cheerleading movie, Bring It On.

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Union cleverly stoked our nostalgia this weekend, donning mommy-and-me versions of the now-iconic Clovers uniform with daughter Kaavia James in celebration of Union’s upcoming 47th birthday, and...Brr! It’s cold in here! There must be some Clovers in the atmosphere!

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Gab’s still got it—and then some—it’s been 19 years, and impossibly, she might be even more fit now. But equally impressive were the many interpretations of the California theme, which included husband Dwyane Wade’s homage to the Oakland-founded Black Panthers and several tributes to ‘90s and early aughts West Coast films and hip-hop culture. And then, there was hometown hero Snoop...who appeared to have just come as himself (posed below next to Tracee Ellis Ross as DJ Quik).

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Of course, no California celebrity bash would be complete without some homegrown talent; Union was surprised with performances by rappers E-40, Too Short and Saweetie, who twinned with her actress cousin in a matching Clovers uniform, and regaled the crowd with her hit, “My Type.”

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While Union was paying tribute to her past, across town she garnered an homage of her own, as Pose and American Horror Story star (and 2019 Root 100 honoree) Angelica Ross donned her own Clovers uniform for the AHS 100th episode celebration at the Hollywood Forever cemetery.

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Ross looks like she’d be right at home on the Clovers’ squad, as affirmed by a “❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️” comment from Union. That said, we simply can’t get over how little Union has aged in the past 19 years (because Lord knows, we feel old just looking at her). Think she still remembers the routines?

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Doesn’t make a difference, since is clearly still leader of the squad...and winning! Happy 47th to a timeless talent!

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About the author

Maiysha Kai

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. Minneapolis born, Chicago bred, New York built. Nuance is her superpower.