Let’s get this out of the way.
After 14 years of marriage and birthing two beautiful babies, Tia Mowry woke up one day in October 2022 and posted to her nearly 12 million followers that she and her husband Cory Hardict were “going their separate ways.” They had come to the end of their road and were headed for divorce. Since she and Cory are both actors with long careers in Hollywood, folks started speculating that their industry temptations caused their split, or they questioned if they made a rash decision overnight. It was neither.
Tia would tell me, over a video chat in the dressing room of her HelloBeautiful cover shoot in Los Angeles, that splitting up with her husband was a long time coming. She takes me back to the beginning.
“I love being a wife,” the actress and producer says. “But I am understanding that tradition could be a blessing and a curse. What I mean by that is tradition warrants for no change, whereas change is constant.”
One change she did not see coming was losing her grandmother. She passed away in January 2019, and when her spirit left her earthly body, Tia did not know to how cope. “I was very, very close to my grandmother. She lived such a long life,” she recalls. “Then, I had never gone to a funeral of a family member. It’s different. I had to see someone that I had loved and thought was never going to go, even though she was older. I kept thinking, ‘She ain’t going. She going to be here forever.’”
Two months before her grandmother’s passing, Tia was grieving the unexpected death of another close family member: Alaina Housley, her twin sister Tamara’s sister-in-law. She was murdered in a Thousand Oaks, California bar shooting that left 12 people dead. The grief of losing them back to back thrust her into a deep darkness. But that’s where she started to see her light.
“That woke me up. I asked myself, ‘Tia, are you happy?’ And I said, I truly need to find my peace and my happiness. That’s when I went to therapy,” she says. “I just started to begin to blossom, evolve, learn and grow. That was like the aha moment. The pivotal moment where I was like, you know what? It’s time to really start living your truth.”
I ask her if this is around the time that her and Cory decided they were better apart than together. “Oh, this was years before that actually,” she says. “This was maybe five years before I decided to make my decision. It took me that long to process everything and realize that it’s okay. Change is constant. It’s okay that if something is no longer aligned or serving you, it’s okay to let go.”
As Tia processed her grandmother and Housley’s passing and started closing the chapter on her marriage, it would be the continued talks with mental health experts, including a therapist that specialized in trauma and grief counseling that truly guided her steps. She says, “My goal in getting into therapy was finding myself.”
Tia Mowry Is In Her Blessings Era
It’s a sunny day in June and Tia’s holding court inside Tatiana, New York City’s buzzy new restaurant, where the wait list for a reservation is rumored to be six months long. There was double excitement in the air because guests were getting access to the front of the line to taste acclaimed Chef Kwame Onwuachi’s curried goat patties and Louisiana Gulf shrimp as big as your hand. The other bubble of energy came from the celebration of 4U By Tia, the sustainably sourced and clean beauty haircare line founded by Tia. Launched officially in January, she and her partners invited a gorgeous assembly of who’s who in celebrity beauty, fitness, hair and fashion, as well as influencer faves—there were even a few new reality TV stars—”to celebrate the beauty of the Black hair community.”
Dressed in a neon pink Retrofete romper and blazer and black stilettos, her perfectly coiffed hair was slicked back, held in place with two pearl-encrusted clips. The look screamed haute girl summer in the city chic, and Tia was owning it. She greeted everyone with a warm smile and hug, including me. After a generous cocktail hour, the ting-ting of glass alerted everyone to take their seats. The 4U by Tia team welcomed guests, and then they handed things over to their founder to give a personal introduction to the brand.
“Like many of you in this room, we have all been on some journey of self-discovery and learning how to embrace our natural hair texture,” she says. “I didn’t always have a great relationship with my hair, mainly because I was always trying to fit into what society said was beautiful. This was usually European standards of straightening my hair, putting in extensions, and damaging my hair. So basically what I did—and you guys let me know if you know of anything called the big chop. Well, I recently done a big chop for different reasons.” The room erupts into amens and hell yeahs because the majority of women can relate.
“I did do a big chop around 2012. I felt heard and seen and represented,” she says. “With this whole big chop movement, where women were just cutting their hair, starting all over, having this rebirth and really accepting themselves. They were putting their foot down and saying I’m no longer going to try to fit in. I’m going to be me. I’m going to be my authentic self. I was on that journey.”
You see, Tia’s been on this journey of renewed self for a minute. Back on our video call last month, in reference to what she’s learning about herself now compared to back then, she offers this: “I always say that I am chasing the joy. I’m chasing my authentic self, my potential. That’s where the magic happens: when you are living your truth. That doesn’t mean that your truth is always going to be rainbows and Skittles. Joy and happiness is like a rollercoaster. What made me happy 10 years ago is different than what’s making me happy now,” she says.
Now, happiness for Tia includes embracing her “blessings era.” She’s a very busy woman: there’s the regular role on Netflix’s Family Reunion with Loretta Devine, her YouTube cooking show QuickFix, and running the homewares line, Spice by Tia Mowry. But above all, this is her steadfast walk in authenticity for herself and her children: son, Cree, 11, and daughter, Cairo, 5.
Tia Mowry Is Living In Her Truth
“A part of my decision was also for them,” says Tia, referencing back to the choice to file for divorce. “For them seeing their mother walk in truth. I feel like it’s a great lesson for them because it was not an easy decision. It was one of the hardest decisions that I had ever had to make in my entire life. But if they see that mommy can do it, that mommy, no matter what people say, no matter, even if there’s some sort of doubt, whatever, mommy pushed through. [They can say] my mommy is living and chasing her truth. I want my children to do that. That’s the best gift I can give them. I want for them not to live a life that I want them to live, for them not to live a life that everybody else wants them to live or what they think that they should be or live. I want them to see that it is okay to have a bad day. I want them to see that it is okay to chase your joy. I want them to see that it is okay to live your truth.”
As the summer heats up, Tia’s making plans for her July birthday and, as she says, “I’m not taking life too seriously.” The actress, producer and entrepreneur clarifies: “What I mean by that is in the context of perfectionism, [I’m] just going with the flow. It’s like if you want to do that, go do it. Life is short. What’s stopping you?” And then once you do it, you could say, “Guess what? I did it.”
One dream on her vision board is already manifesting. “People often ask me, ‘Where do you see yourself in 10 years or 15 years?’ And I see myself living in Portofino, Italy, having a nice glass of wine, and eating some pasta. And just enjoying my life.”
For the rest of us, we should live more like Tia: authentic, truthful and free.
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