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Tia Mowry says she and Tamera were denied teen mag cover because they're Black

The actor is speaking out about her experience with discrimination.
SISTER, SISTER, Tia and Tamera Mowry, 1994-99. (C)Paramount Television/Courtesy Everett Collection
Tia and Tamera Mowry starred in the '90s sitcom "Sister, Sister."Everett Collection
/ Source: TODAY

Appearing on magazine covers is a rite of passage for many teen stars, but it's an experience that Tia Mowry once felt like she was excluded from.

Back in the '90s, Mowry and her twin sister, Tamera, starred on the hit sitcom "Sister, Sister," but the actor just told "Entertainment Tonight" that their successful show wasn't enough to land them the cover of a certain magazine.

“So my sister (Tamera) and I wanted to be on the cover of this very popular (teenage) magazine at the time,” Mowry said. “We were told that we couldn’t be on the cover of the magazine because we were Black and we would not sell.”

"Sister, Sister" was a wildly popular show at the time, and Mowry disagreed with the magazine's explanation, but she ended the conversation there. Still, it's a moment that's stayed with her for years.

"I will never forget that. I will never forget where I was,” she said. “And I wish I would have spoken up. I wish I would have said something then. I wish I would have had the courage to speak out and say that wasn’t right.”

During her interview with "ET," Mowry reflected on the ways that Hollywood has evolved in its treatment of Black women and revealed that she always felt like she didn't have many Black role models to look up to in her industry.

“I would feel insecure about my hair because being young and being in this business, I never saw girls like me. I never saw girls that, you know, were embracing their curls or I never saw curly hair being portrayed as beautiful,” she said.

Still, the 42-year-old has learned to love her curls over the past few years and she's thrilled to see women in her industry embrace their hair and skin color.

“Representation is important and that really helped me, meaning me seeing those images is what helped me embrace my natural beauty," she said.

The mother of two also wants to make sure her children also have a strong sense of self and an inner confidence they can tap into.

“To this day, I’m always telling my beautiful brown-skinned girl that she is beautiful,” she said. “And the same thing even with my son. I tell him how handsome he is, I tell him, you know, he is smart. Because I know what it feels like for someone to devalue your worth, and I don't want my children to ever, ever, ever, feel that.”

Mowry's twin sister certainly has helped her in her journey to embrace her natural beauty, and she also credited her mom for serving as a positive example.

"She is this strong, confident beautiful black woman and she has beautiful dark skin, and her skin is just so smooth. She's the epitome of beauty," she said.