Jada Pinkett Smith and her husband, Will Smith, are one of Hollywood’s most successful celebrity couples and have been happily married since 1997. They managed to set themselves apart from many famous couples in Hollywood by being very down-to-earth and honest about their lives. The two have three children, with the most prominent ones being Jaden and Willow Smith.
Despite having a combined net worth in the hundreds of millions, the two have various other issues that every married couple faces, including those that are unique to celebrity couples. Jada Smith has revealed in a teary-eyed interview that her son, Jaden, has recently come to her with a profounding request. Here’s what happened…
An Uncomfortable Question
The interview took place on an episode of her online chat show, Red Table Talk. Jada had just revealed that her fifteen-year-old son, Jaden, approached her with a question and a request that “devastated” her. Jada and Will Smith are obviously very loving and passionate about their family and career, but sometimes things get in the way.
Despite all the hardships, Jada views herself as a loving and understanding mother. She knows that whatever the circumstances, it is her duty and sympathize and try to understand her son’s perspective. This time, what Jaden asked her wasn’t at all what she ever wanted, she knew that the right thing to do would be to let him make his own decisions.
The Unconventional Family
Will and Jada Smith have been parents for a while now. Will was originally married in 1992 to Sheree Zampino, whom he ended up divorcing just three years later. The two had a son together, Trey, and share mutual custody of him. In 1997, he married Jada, and the two had two children. The first was Jaden, back in 1998, and the second was their beautiful daughter, Willow, who was born in the year 2,000.
What makes Will and Jada smith quite unique as parents is their controversial parenting style, which they developed through their own special life experiences and circumstances. The two have been through quite a lot in their early years and decided to take a very relaxed approach to parenting that doesn’t involve many disciplines. In a 2013 interview, Will Smith explained to Metro that they “don’t do punishment” in the Smith household.
A Father's Message
Will’s message to his children is that they have to learn how to deal with their own lives on their own terms. This is especially true with children of extremely wealthy parents, who are often seen as privileged and lacking of character. The iconic Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star claimed that “The way that we deal with our kids is [that] they are responsible for their lives…
Our concept is as young as possible, give them as much control over their lives as possible. And the concept of punishment – our experience has been [that] it has a little too much of a negative quality.”
Love and Encouragement
In-addition to their lax approach to discipline, Will and Jada also highly encourage transparency and authentic communication in their household. The two loving parents opened what they refer to as a “circle of safety,” where each member of the family gets to talk in an honest way without fear of judgment or punishment.
The Smith parents did this In-order to maintain an environment where everyone can talk to each other openly, something which is quite lacking in many households and relationships today.
The Circle of Safety
The only important rule about the circle of safety is that you have to be fully honest and forthcoming. No one gets punished, no matter what they reveal, but there will be consequences against any family member who fails to disclose the truth. In 2016, Smith told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show.
“[In the circle of safety, the kids are] allowed to tell us everything that they did, and they can’t get in trouble… The rule is, if we find out after the circle of safety that there was something you didn’t say, there was hell to pay.”
Sharing isn't Necessarily Caring
Although the idea is certainly commendable, there are many things that children don't want to share with their parents for various reasons. It didn’t take long for the Smith's to realize that forcing their children to share everything about their lives might backfire horribly.
Will admitted later that having his fifteen-year-old daughter, Willow, share her deepest thoughts and feelings, was a bit too much for your average dad to listen to.
Father and Daughter Boundaries
During his interview with Jimmy Fallon, Will explained to the host, “As a father, you do not want a circle of safety with a 15-year-old daughter. You do not… I’m like, ‘Baby, you need to start lying!’”
While they were being honest with each other, the A-list actor also told the truth to his daughter and asked her to talk about certain subjects exclusively with her mother Jada. He joked in the interview, “[I’m like,] ‘Nope! You and your mom can talk about that one!’”
The Smiths' free and relaxed approach when it came to raising their children, along with a strong push for authentic communication caused some unintended consequences. Jaden and Willow often choose their own wacky hairdos and fashion decisions.
Despite pressures from the media, Will and Jada have always supported their children’s decisions when it came to fashion, although there were admittedly some very strange ones.
Not So Traditional
As an example, Will has often seen his son, Jaden, wear various articles of clothing that are traditionally considered as feminine. The young boy has been spotted wearing everything from skirts to full-blow dresses. Despite some public backlash, his father fully supports whatever Jaden decides to wear.
In a recent interview on BBC Radio 1Xtra, Will told the host that he views his son as “100 percent fearless”, and explained just how proud he is of Jaden’s various life choices.
Like Father, Not Really Like Son
It’s not easy to see your son down a path that is extremely different from your own, as Will Smith is mostly known for being your everyday macho guy, and wouldn’t be caught dead in women’s clothing. He added, “[Jaden] will do anything. As a parent, it’s scary; it’s really terrifying. But he is completely willing to live and die by his artistic decisions, and he doesn’t concern himself with what people think.”
It’s quite brave and impressive that both Will and Jada manage to curb their fears and allow their son to express himself freely, but they believe there’s a good reason for it…
An Absolute Fearless Family
Will and Jada believe that letting your kids express themselves freely is one of the most important things for helping them cultivate their artistic voice. He explained, “There’s a really powerful internal quality as an artist that we encourage. You gotta get out on the edge, [and] you have to try things.
You have to be comfortable doing things that people don’t agree with, and you have to be comfortable doing things that could fail.”
It seems like the Smith family faces a new backlash over Jaden and Willow’s fashion choices on a monthly basis, as the two often make some crazy stylistic choices. One such example happened in 2012 when their daughter Willow suddenly decided to shave her head and dye it pink.
This caused many parents to raise their brows at the couple, but the Smiths had a great comeback to all the naysayers and doubters.
Social Media Trolls
This time, the criticism was too much for Jada Smith, and she decided to use her strong presence on social media to make her case known. The loving mother wanted to remind the world that children have the right to change their appearance without having to fear for backlash and punishment from their parents.
She wrote on Facebook, “The question isn't why I would ‘LET’ Willow cut her hair. First, ‘LET’ must be challenged.”
Jada Stands Up For Daughter
This was quite personal for Jada, as she also faced judgment throughout most of her life. The mother continued, “This is a world where women [and] girls are constantly reminded that they don’t belong to themselves – that their bodies are not their own nor their power or self-determination.
She continued with saying "I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit and her mind are HER domain. Willow cut her hair because of her beauty, her value [and] her worth is not measured by the length of her hair.”
A Team Effort
It seems that Will also shares the same opinions and beliefs as the mother of his children. According to them, part of a girl having control over her body also comes with being able to change her body’s appearance because it belongs to her.
In a 2013 interview with Parade magazine, Will said: “When you have a little girl, it’s like, how can you teach her that you’re in control of her body? She can’t cut my hair, but that’s her hair… She has got to have command of her body.”
While the Smiths strongly encourage and support their children throughout their many adventures and transitions, it was never easy, and sometimes extremely hard on the parents. Jada gave an example of a recent incident that nearly broke her during a discussion on her Red Table Talk Facebook show.
She often hosts various family members on the show, and this creates the perfect environment for them to open up and talk about very personal topics in a public setting.
Parents' Choices vs Kids' Choices
One day in 2018, Jada decided that it was time to put everything out on the (red) table. She invited both her children, Jaden and Willow, to participate in the episode. The goal was to try and talk as frankly as possible about their experience as a family, and contrast the children’s choices with how their parents felt throughout the years.
This led some very deep topics to emerge, including an incident involving Jaden that almost broke Jada to bits.
The Precious First-born
When Jaden first introduced her son, Jaden, during their Red Table Talk episode, she said, “Jaden’s my baby boy – my firstborn. He’s one of the most loving, gentle creatures that I know.” It was clear that she adored her loving child and couldn't speak more highly of him. Unfortunately, there were some dark truths hiding in the background.
These were initially revealed when Jada shared that Jaden had caused her to experience “one of the most heartbreaking moments of her life.”
Fighting For Independence
What made Jada so heartbroken, was that one day her son had informed her that he wanted to leave home. For good. Recounting the event Jada told Jada: “You got to a point where you told me straight up. You were like, ‘Mom, I have to leave here to live my life.’”
Jaden agreed with his mother’s recounting of the incident with a very serious “Totally.”
A Tough Decision
Despite how difficult this transition was for Jada, she knew that it was Jaden's decision and she would respect it. Jada and Will spent so much time cultivating independence in their children, that it would be hypocritical not to let them make their own choices.
She revealed her thoughts at the time to the table. “I remember thinking to myself, as devastated as I was, I was like, ‘He’s right. The time is now; he’s 15. It’s time for him to leave the house.’”
While Jada and Will were beginning to open up to Jaden’s desire for his own life, not every member of the family was quite on board. Jada’s mother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, suddenly barged into the conversation and admitted, “I would have never agreed to that.”
The doting mother was quick to defend her son’s decision and explained that they knew ever since he was a little boy that one day Jaden would demand his independence.
Mom Knows Best
Jada admitted during her important Red Table Talk episode that she and Will had already predicted the day Jaden would ask them to live on his own, even back when he was a child. She explained, “I knew. I told Will – when Jaden was smaller – I said, ‘We’ll be lucky to keep him in the house until he’s 16.’ Because he was so mature.
He was making films… he could really manage his own life.” Apparently the little guy wasn’t just a rebel when it came to fashion, he was also fiercely independent like his mother.
An Unexpected Musical Decision
Jada was always a highly independent person herself, often going against the grain and doing what she wanted instead of what society demanded. For example, instead of going down the pop route when she began her musical career, she chose to start a controversial nu-metal band that got her flack from both metal and non-metal fans alike.
Regardless of personality, there was another reason she knew that Jaden would eventually want his own home.
Jada also knew that the combined fame of their family likely caused a lot of pressure on the young boy. Despite popular conceptions, it’s not easy being an A-list celebrity, especially if you were born into a life rather than choosing to create it. She continued, “Being in this lifestyle – in this world – is a bubble.
He wanted out, and I understood that because I didn’t have the bubble. And I knew how much he would gain from having his freedom outside of that bubble".
Regardless of her fears and reservation, Jada ultimately knew that letting her son move out wouldn’t mean the end of their relationship. She knew that sometimes when you love someone, the best thing you can is let them go so they can make their own path.
She explained that there was also a selfish reason behind letting Jaden go, “I knew that the sooner I let him go, the faster he was going to come back.” And it seems that she was right.
The Ellen Interview
Back in 2013, tabloids began reporting that Jaden had filed for emancipation from his parents. Jaden went on to appear that year on an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show and firmly denied these rumors, including the idea that he was planning on leaving home. It seems that the young actor and musician had apparently inherited his father’s sense of humor, which was eminently clear when he explained to Ellen about his decision to stay at home.
Jaden said to Ellen, "See, here’s the thing that you need to understand: I’m not going anywhere… The thing that people don’t get is [that] everything at this house is free! So I can get anything and everything at this house, so I’m going to be there [for] 20 [or] 30 more years.” We sense some excellent sitcom material in this young boy’s blood!
A Fresh Start
It took a few years from then before Jaden Smith finally moved away from his family’s home in Malibu, California. In June 2017, the 19-year-old celebrity moved into to a $4 million mansion right next to his parent’s house in Los Angeles’ Hidden Hills neighborhood.
While Jaden definitely made a bid to freedom by leaving his parents' house, it’s clear that he never meant to go far, as his move was so close to home.
Carving Out His Space
Still, the teenager had to do something to establish his independence from his family. There’s only so many haircuts and dresses you can sport before realizing that you’re still a kid getting coddled by your parents.
This was a good move for young Jaden, as it helped him gain a stronger sense of confidence and ability to get things done on his own.
Like most kids that leave home, Jaden explained to his family during their Red Table Talk how moving out changed his entire outlook of the Smith family and helped him gain a new sense of love and respect for them.
He said, “It just makes you appreciate being at home, being with your parents [and] spending quality time with your family. You get out into the world, and then you just kind of understand things.”
A Newfound Appreciation
All in all, Will and Jada ended up benefiting greatly from their decision to give Jaden his freedom and respect his desire for independence. His moving out gave the young actor newfound appreciation for his parents and actually made him to miss his family.
While it was amazing to see how much he and his sister matured over the years, both children have suggested on various occasions that their parents could have done a better job keeping them away from the spotlight a bit longer before exposing them to the celebrity lifestyle.
In what probably amounts to the greatest example that wealth and fame don’t equal happiness, Willow explained that her rise to fame, which happened when she was just ten years old, was actually one of the most nerve-wracking and depressing times in her life. What got Willow put on the spotlight was her viral 2010 single, “Whip My Hair”.
Despite the song gaining worldwide appeal and more than a hundred million views, Willow very much regrets that she was put in the spotlight at such a young age. She claims that it was a “really terrible experience.” the young girl added, “The values of the people that were around me should have been the opposite.”
Reaching for the Stars
While every parent wants to support their child’s dreams, sometimes when you’re as famous and successful as Will and Jada, it’s best to hold off on pushing your kids to “be all that they can be.”
With the Smith family's incredible fame and wealth, it was clear that Willow wouldn’t have had a problem achieving anything she ever wanted.
The teary-eyed mother looked sadly at her daughter and realized just how much Will and her actions had ended up hurting Willow. Jada tried explaining the motivation behind these actions, “Your dad and I, we were like, ‘Oh man, she’ll be set up for life. This is her start.’”
But Willow said that shaving her hair was a direct consequence of the “upset” that she suffered from her pop career. She adds, “There’s a Nirvana lyric that says, ‘I shave my head, and then I’m not sad.’”
Willow wasn’t the only child in the Smith family that found themselves being pushed towards the spotlight at a very young age. Jaden, Willow’s older brother, first became widely known after he was cast in the role of Chris Gardner’s son, Christopher in Will Smith’s highly successful nonfiction drama film, The Pursuit of Happiness.
The movie was enormously successful and garnered widespread acclaim. This caused Jaden to instantly became a child celebrity, and he also felt that being pushed so early into fame caused various problems throughout his life. There was one film in particular though that Jaden felt really damaged him as a child.
First Lead Role
Jaden opened up about his traumatic experiences after appearing in the 2010’s martial arts film The Karate Kid. The young actor explained, “I went through the same thing that Willow went through with “Whip My Hair” with The Karate Kid. It was happening at the same time.” The film starred Jackie Chan and was effectively Jaden’s first lead role in a film.
While he had a key role in The Pursuit of Happiness back in 2006, it was a heartfelt film and his contribution was more of a supporting role. Now that he was the star of a popular film, this opened him up to all sorts of criticism and judgment that often come with so much attention.
Jada was aware of the incredibly negative effects that early fame had had on Jaden. She recalled just how emotionally distraught he was after The Karate Kid was released, and said, “I remember the moment because I asked [Jaden], [and he] went into that full split... He was in tears, and I was like, ‘I’m done.’” Luckily for Jada, her son was a true fighter, and eventually managed to deal with all the pressure and the hardships.
Jada revealed her son’s incredibly brave reaction when she was ready to throw in the towel, “He looked at me like, ‘Mom, I’m good', got up, and said, ‘Let’s do it again.’”
Jada Doesn't Preach
While they have certainly made mistakes, the loving Smith parents have more than made up for them with the immense love, support and freedom they provide their children. Despite their successful marriage and loving family, Jada is quite apprehensive about sharing parenting advice with others, especially considering her children’s unique circumstances.
“Every child needs something different,” Jada explains. Which may be her way of saying 'don't you dare judge our children'.
The exciting and tear-filled Red Table Talk episode wasn’t the only time that Jada gave her fans an emotional and moving to peek into her life story. Back in 2018, she shared a very personal secret that left many of her fans in tears.
This was one of the hardest things for Jada to ever share on live TV, which says a lot when you consider how open she is as a person.
An Unusual Fashion Choice
Jada Pinkett Smith had many hairstyles throughout her career. The actress was never afraid to make big, bold statements with her appearance, and is well known for being able to completely revamp her look on a whim. In 2018, fans began to notice a different trend developing that was completely different than anything she had ever done before.
Jada began showing up to her Red Table Talk episodes wearing turbans, which was not only a new look for her but also seemed to hide a secret truth behind it. When the actress realized that her turbans were becoming a major point of discussion among her fans, she decided it was time to come clean and reveal the heartbreaking reasons behind her decision to wear them.
An Important Discussion
Jada was hosting an episode of her popular Facebook Watch show, Red Table Talk that hosted her usual guests including her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, and her daughter, Willow. The three women often discussed various issues, from relevant happenings in culture to a variety of important topics.
That day’s episode was centered around the topic of insecurities, which prompted the actress to make an important and brave decision.
A Huge Insecurity
Jada Smith knew that talking about insecurities with her family in this public discussion would require her to be upfront about her insecurities as-well. Her biggest insecurity was hiding behind her decision to wear a turban, which made this topic come too close to heart for the passionate host.
She felt that it would be hypocritical of her not to open up about her biggest insecurity, so she finally revealed the emotional truth behind her new fashion choice.
Familiar with Fame
Jada Pinkett Smith isn’t new to the spotlight. By the time she met Will Smith, the two were both A-list celebrities and were as well known as you can possibly get in Hollywood. She started out at the Baltimore School for the Arts and studied theater and dance there. One of her classmates ended up becoming a legendary rapper, she became great friends with that classmate.
His name was Tupac Shakur, and the two developed a great relationship together. By the time Jada graduated in 1989, she was already a known actress in Hollywood.
Climbing Up The TV Ranks
She began by acting in small TV parts in shows and films such as True Colors, 21 Jump Street and Doogie Howser, M.D.. The actress found herself acting in her first proper and unique role when she portrayed Lena James in A Different World.
The sitcom show was a spinoff of the popular "Cosby Show", and featured a diverse cast of largely African-American actors. It ran on ABC from 1987 until 1993.
Jada and Murphy
Jada’s real breakthrough as an actress came in 1996 when she starred alongside Eddie Murphy in the super popular comedy film, The Nutty Professor. In the film, Jada played Carla Purty, wife of Prof. Sherman Klump, a sweet, shy chemistry professor who has an assertive, brash and aggressive alter ego called Buddy Love.
The aspiring actress also appeared that year in the popular crime action heist film Set It Off, which literally helped set off her acting career.
Uniting with Hubby
Smith continued to play in various successful roles one after the other. She even got a part in the highly popular slasher movie, Scream 2. The actress also starred in Spike Lee’s comedy-drama film Bamboozled, a controversial film which featured black actors donning blackface makeup, and the resulting violence that occurred as a result.
While these were great roles, she was soon set to appear together in a film with her husband, Will Smith, and also scored her biggest and most iconic role to date.
An Incredible Actress
Will and Jada Smith had a fantastic time starring together in 2001’s biographical sports drama film, Ali, which chronicles an important decade in the life of the world’s most legendary boxer, Muhammad Ali. The film was critically acclaimed by critics and viewers alike. Both Will Smith and his wife, Jada, were highly praised for their superb acting and obvious chemistry.
They were both nominated for Academy Awards, with Best Actor for Will and Best Supporting Actress for Jada.
Jada’s most iconic role to date ended up being her role in two successful sequels to the 1999’s hit sci-fi action film, The Matrix. The two sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, were both highly praised.
The actress's role of Niobe was extremely popular among fans and served as proof that audiences enjoyed diverse characters way before being 'different' was popular. As long as the film was actually good, that is.
Since the peak of her acting success in The Matrix films, Jada continued acting in various popular films. In 2004, she landed a fantastic supporting role in the action film Collateral, alongside super-actors Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx. The actress also began voice acting, and lent her voice in the memorable 2005 animated animal film Madagascar.
In 2008, Jada had the opportunity to write and direct her first film, The Human Contract, which starred actor Jason Clarke, and actress Paz Vega. The film ended up being quite mediocre, but everyone has to try something new once in a while.
A New Talkshow
Among the actress's various ventures, which include everything from becoming a writer to starring in her own metal band, one of Jada’s most successful ventures to date was her Facebook Watch show, Red Table Talk. It became very popular, largely due to her having an interesting and easily loveable personality.
Jada would frequently feature her mother and daughter, as the three generations of women often discussed important topics from the lens of three different eras, cultures, values, viewpoints and ideas. They would also often bring various special guests on the show to help promote an interesting discussion.
Striking the Balance
Jada’s family is the crucial source of her strength and helps keep her both sane and happy. It seems that the actress managed to find the ultimate balance between family and work, by combining the two into a very entertaining and enjoyable experience. This helps Jada keep her family life in order, as she often gets to interact with them and even gets paid for it.
While it’s clear to everyone how Jaden and Willow came into the lives of these loving parents, the story behind Will Smith and Jada’s first meeting is a lot more interesting.
The young couple actually met by complete accident back in 1994, when Jada was trying to get the part of Lisa Wilkins, Will Smith’s girlfriend in his popular sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Unfortunately for the young actress, it seems that the show’s producers had another actress in-mind, as they eventually chose to go with actress Nia Long as their pick for the role instead.
This turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to Jada however, as it gave her and Will the opportunity to get to know each other.
Speaking The Same Language
After Jada and Will first met, the two became friends and only began dating a whole year later. It was clear for both of them that there was some serious magic going on, and just two years later, the couple got married. What is most amazing about Smith’s relationship, is that they both come from traditional, family-oriented values.
From the very beginning they knew that if they ended up getting married, this would be a marriage that would last forever.
Then Came The Baby in the Golden Carriage
The loving couple didn’t take any extra time before having children and young Jaden was born less than a year after the two got married. Willow also came quite quickly after their son, and was born in 2000. Jada is very clear about her priorities and is unequivocal about her family being first place in all her endeavors. She told USA Today in 2018, “I will throw my career away before I let it break up [my] marriage.
It’s an exciting breath of fresh air to hear such a sweet and loving sentiment from this incredible wife. So many marriages in Hollywood end up getting thrown away, and it almost always has something to do with one of the spouse’s careers and personal ambitions.
Both Jada and Will knew from the start that a successful relationship requires compromise. It took a lot of time, but the married couple managed to find the perfect balance between romance, career ambitions, and their children. They both continued to grow their careers while also being loving and devoted parents. What’s even more impressive is that Will and Jada, now 51 and 48 years old, both look happier and healtheir than ever before.
The two also constantly reinvent themselves, although Will mostly kept the same look traditional look for over three decades now.
A Beautiful Transforming
One example of Jada Smith's many transformations was her unique and surprising look at the 1995 premiere of Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight. The actress had a stylish blonde, a close-cropped hairstyle which accentuated her beautiful facial features.
This was quite a unique look for her, and made it clear to everyone that she could look absolutely stunning in both long and short hair.
New Film New Hairdo
Another interesting hairdo for the actress was her long-curly hairstyle which she featured in the 2004 premiere of her aforementioned film, Collateral, where she starred alongside Cruise and Foxx.
She truly looks incredible in every single hairstyle, which just goes to show how beautiful the actress is (and how extremely lucky Will Smith is).
Mixing it Up
The actress also showed a much more tribal and ethnic hairstyle in a recent event, which made her look more stunning than usual. Jada definitely likes to mix up hairstyles before attending red carpet events, which made it all the weirder when she began appearing exclusively in turbans.
Now that we've seen just how much of a role this actresses hair plays in her many parts, we can see how strange her sudden head-dress shift was to her many fans.
During the Red Table Talk discussing insecurities, Jada started the conversation by putting a stake on the ground and expressing her truth. She suggested that they talk about things that they don't like about themselves. No matter how beautiful of a woman [you are]; we all have things about ourselves that we don’t like.” This remark got an instant reaction of agreement from both her mother and her daughter.
Showing that women’s insecurities are truly a multi-generational problem, and have nothing to do with looks or age. Banfield-Norris, Jada’s mother, expressed how she views the topic of beauty from her angle as a grandmother in her sixties. She explained, “For older women, youth is everything. So, everything that you see on television, everything that you see everywhere is everything about staying young. And so it really becomes challenging as you become older to try to not get obsessed with trying to stay young.”
Body Image Issues
She explained how for her and other senior women, the issue of body-image doesn’t improve over time or go away, and sometimes even becomes worse. She even became teary-eyed while sharing some painful truths about her situation, “Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror, and I don’t like what I see.
The worst part of my body for me are my legs, you know, my thighs. Like, I’m thin, and people think it’s ridiculous, but I have mad cellulite, and I hate it, so I hate my legs.”
Jada showed everyone how to turn a bad situation into a positive one using honesty, love, and optimism. She replied to her mother, “I love that you’ve gained weight.”
Adrienne responded, “In my mind, I feel fat. I know that that’s not true; I know I’m not fat. But I certainly am bigger than I used to be.” The young Willow also chimed in with her loving opinion, “That’s not a problem.”
Trying to Reach Crazy Standards
Jada’s mother wasn’t convinced by her daughter and granddaughter’s attempt to propping her up. The grandmother said that she still “feels like [it’s] a problem”, and that she hopes to find a way to resolve it through exercise and a correct diet.
Jada pointed out that her mother’s unwillingness to let go of her unachievable body standards comes from her being “used to seeing herself a certain way,” which makes her feel bad whenever she compares herself to how she looked in the past.
Struggling for Attention
Willow joined the conversation also sharing how she feels about her body weight and figure. To both the older women’s surprise, the young teenager revealed, “[I’ve] struggled with curvier women, and curvier girls have always gotten more attention from the boys that I’ve liked and have ended up dating the boys that I’ve liked.”
She further emphasized that this isn’t a one-time thing either. In her experience, this is something that happens again and again.
Sympathizing with Mom
Jada sympathized with her daughter’s unfortunate situation. She explained that her own experience was also very similar.
But instead of making her daughter feel better, these words only made Willow feel even more strongly about being “just not desirable” in young men's minds. The young girl further complained and added, “Like, is my body just like not what society likes?”
Blocking Out Negativity
Jada was quick to stop her daughter’s negative line of thinking and told her, “I tell Willow all the time she’s beautiful. Like all the time.” Her daughter agreed, and commented that she did learn how to block out people’s criticism over her body, but for a completely different reason.
Willow decided a long time ago that she wasn’t going to shave her armpit hair, which caused a lot of sexist and misogynistic criticism from both men and women.
Willow’s mother used this chance to address the questions that were being asked by fans about her new headcover. She began explaining why she has been wearing a turban.
Smith went on to explain, “I’ve been having issues with hair loss. And I’m going to tell you [that] it was terrifying when it first started.” She then revealed her first terrible experience of hair loss, “I was in the shower one day, and then [there was] just handfuls of hair, just in my hands.”
An Extremely Uncomfortable
Jada claimed that on several occasions, she began to freak out and believe that there was something wrong with her. On more than one occasion, the actress thought that she was losing her hair and remembered how much fear she experienced. Her daughter immediately sympathized with her and became very emotional too. Luckily, her mother found a way to deal with her uncomfortable situation.
Furthermore, it seems that Pinkett Smith’s constantly changing hairstyles had a story to tell after all. For her part, she reveals during the Red Table Talk conversation that her hair loss was the reason why she started adopting shorter and more varied hairdos. Still, taking charge of an uncontrollable experience doesn’t mean it’s any easier to cope with, as the actress seemingly implies.
Coping with the Loss
One way that Jada found of dealing with her hair loss was by adopting to short and unique hairstyles. This allowed her to avoid the embarrassment and shame of watching her hair fall right out of her head in her hands. Although this certainly helped her cope with the situation, it was still extremely humbling, even somewhat damaging to her self esteem.
Finding a way to cope with her hair loss did not make it go away or hurt any less.
The actress explained how important her hair is to her and taking care of it is an important ritual. Having to let go of this important part of her was not going to be an easy task.
She recalled some of her first thought after first realizing that her hair loss wasn't going to go away, and might even get worse.
Reminiscing About a Better Time
The actress’s mother also fondly shared memories of just how beautiful Jada’s hair was to her. She also recalled how full and healthy it was in earlier times.
It's not just her mother that believed Jada's hair was more than just pretty. Many people have doubts over the years of her hair was really because of how perfect it always seemed to be.
She Did All She Could
The actress shared, “[It was] to the point that people thought I had weaves. Sweet memories aside, the undeniable truth was that her once beautiful hair was now beginning to thin out and lose its glamor. Mrs. Smith did just about everything she could to understand how this could be happening. She received some possible explanations from her doctors.
The frustrated actress claimed that she got tests done but despite her best efforts, doctors still could not diagnose what was the cause was of her hair loss condition. She explained, “They don’t know why. People have said ``stress.” This was highly unusual for her, as Jada doesn't recall being stressed any more than other people in general. Another possible explanation as a rare condition called alopecia, which could be at the root of her hair loss.
Alopecia is a medical condition that causes hair to begin shedding in certain areas on the head. Doctors are often puzzled in regards to conditions surrounding this circumstance, but they believe it might have something to do with stress. Although it starts out as a mild situation of hair loss, the condition can quickly worsen and become more apparent, as areas of the head begin becoming completely bald.
One scary feature about alopecia is that it doesn’t just cause hair on the scalp to fall, it could also affect eyelashes, eyebrows and even facial hair.
Living with the Condition
Some people who suffer from alopecia also find themselves afflicted with the universalis type of the condition, which eventually causes all hair to fall off. Although there are some cases of recovery where the hair began growing back again, most of the time the damage is irreparable.
There is currently no known cure for the condition, which is heartbreaking, especially for those who really value their hair.
Understanding the Loss
Although Jada was initially devastated by her condition, this situation caused her character to really shine through. The young mother prides herself on taking negative situations and finding ways to glean some value out of them. During the Red Table Talk discussion, she recalled a moment when a sense of perspective began to manifest in her thought process.
Jada could vividly recall a moment where she thought, “Oh my god, why are you so terrified that you might lose your hair?” Which helped her transition into a more spiritual understanding of the event.
The Higher Power
Jada then had an epiphany on what she had to do, “I really had to put it in a spiritual perspective of like, the higher power takes so much from people. People are out here who have cancer; people have sick children. I watch the higher power take things every day.”
With such a blessed life, the wealthy, successful, famous, talented and happily married mother finally realized that losing some hair was such a menial problem in her life, that it makes sense to not take it half as seriously as she initially did.
Feeling Like a Queen
Of course, Jada also found a comical way to look at her situation too. During a recent episode of her discussion show, she was seen putting her turban on, but instead of looking solemn and sad, the actress looked happy and proud. Her way of coping with the situation would definitely make you laugh.
What Jada finally realized, was that her accessory wasn’t just beautiful, it also made her look majestic and royal. “When my hair is wrapped, I feel like a queen,'' she said. Proving that you can turn almost any negative situation into an empowering one. A message which can help each and every one of us live a better, happier and more fulfilled life.