Teyana Taylor, Iman Shumpert and their kids grace the cover of Ebony Magazine. Inside the publication, the celebrity parents share how they are raising their precocious daughter, Iman “Junie” Tayla, to be a strong Black girl, how parenthood has changed them and much more!
On raising Junie to be a strong Black girl:
Iman Shumpert: “She sees her mom do a lot of things that are just bold. Whether it’s in fashion, whether it’s on stage, whether it’s in a quick snippet of an interview—it’s very bold and she watches her mom do it. So, for her to even try and emulate that at such a young age, it’s our job to nurture that and to keep preaching that. What I love most about being a girl dad is the consistency my daughters have in making sure that I don’t harden my heart.”
Teyana Taylor: “She’s so fearless. Junie has inspired me—even as a woman—in so many ways. I thought I was bold, but Junie is really just her parents, times three. People say, ‘Oh yeah, she gets it from [her] parents.’ No, Junie is Junie, and she has sprinkles of us throughout. She is one of a kind. I love her power and fearlessness in being able to call me out like, ‘No, I’m not comfortable with this. I don’t want to do that. This is how it’s going to go down, mom.’ We let her express herself emotionally. We think that’s important. If Junie wants to be an engineer, then a drummer, or she wants to do ballet, and then tap, we will give her every little thing that she needs until she decides what she wants. We allow her to do whatever it is that her heart desires. And I think that’s what also keeps her respectful because sometimes when you hold on to kids too tight, when they get older, they rebel. Finding a great balance with children is very important.”
On fashion week with Junie
Teyana: “Junie is the ‘it’ girl. She was invited to fashion week, and I was just her plus-one. Even just traveling with her to Paris—that was out of pure trust. I’m like, ‘Yo, I think my girl’s ready.’ When I didn’t take her to Dubai, she was like, ‘Mommy, how come you didn’t take me to Dubai?’ I’m like, ‘Because it’s a 16-hour flight. I wouldn’t think you would be ready for that.’ She was like, ‘No, I would just be getting my beauty rest.’
On Juggling motherhood with work:
Teyana: “Mommy and Teyana are a 50/50 thing. My kids come everywhere with us. They are actually the life of the party. My photoshoots often become Junie’s shoot and Rue is usually somewhere stealing the show just because she’s cute as pie. My family brings joy to my work.”
On Iman being a family man:
Iman: “People back home might be like, ‘Oh that’s L’Tanya’s son.’ If you’re a fan of my wife, then it’s ‘that’s Teyana’s husband.’ Or, it’s ‘that’s Junie’s dad. That’s Rue’s daddy. Look, he looks just like Rue. It’s always in association with my family. I have 65-year-old women come up to me and say, ‘I just love you. You’re a great dad—and boy, you can dance!’ Kids come up to me and tell me they watch our [reality] show, they have no clue that I even play ball. I’m so many different people to everyone. But it’s cool.”
Teyana Taylor and Iman Shumpert’s first child, Junie, was born on Dec. 16, 2015. The couple later welcomed daughter Rue Rose in September of 2020.