Jada Pinkett Smith Talks Love and Feminism [Interview by Raqiyah Mays]

Jada Pinkett picture

The fascination with Will and Jada Pinkett Smith makes sense. She doesn’t wear a wedding ring. She candidly speaks of their “open” relationship. And sleazy tabloid stories occasionally ooze with slimy “sources” sadly whispering of impending doom for the duo. Paparazzi and reporters have gotten so thirsty for dirt that before an interview with Jada promoting her must-see film (for all ladies who like to see a man strip)—Magic Mike XXL—publicists send email reminders to press: “As a reminder, please no personal questions about her children or family, and no jokes about stripping as she supports charities tied to human trafficking.”

The problem is that speaking to a sister like Jada Pinkett Smith is like talking to an intellectual girlfriend. Clearly conscious, proud to be black, and outspoken in enunciating publicly on everything from race and Hillary Clinton to the Baltimore Riots. The down-to-Earth comfort of her vibe makes it difficult to not, at some point, naturally discuss topics women like to share, such as men and love.

As a black woman, I enjoyed seeing Will introduce you at Black Girls Rock and talk about his fear of losing you and then the two of you kissed. We need to see that as black people. We need to see black love.

“That’s so funny you say that. Because that was one of the reasons. You know, sometimes I’m very leery,” she says huffing. “I’m like,Last thing people want to see is the Smiths doing something else together.’ Even I get sick of it like, ‘Aaaah!’” Jada screams with a laugh. “But I really did feel like that too. I felt like it was important that we all, young and old people alike, see that black love is alive and strong. No matter what people try to say, you can’t fake the funk when it’s right there in your face. You can’t fake it. So I felt like that was an important component. And so did he. And I said, ‘I think this is one of those moments we can put aside the, ‘Oh God, here go the Smiths again.’”

A solid, respected career, pretty babies, and a long, eighteen year and counting marriage to an equally successful, wealthy, handsome man who’s unafraid to provide passionate displays of attention in public. Imagine if all women could have all of that.

“Let me tell you something. First of all it’s a journey. I think we as women have to get out of thinking that we have to find someone that can make us feel the way we haven’t learned how to feel about ourselves yet. That we cannot depend on a man to buoy us up to be loved in a way in which we’re not willing to love ourselves,” says Jada, dropping knowledge. “And I know it sounds cliché. But in the deepest moments when I felt the deepest love for my partner is when I was in the deepest love within myself and with myself. I just realized it is my responsibility to love me. And it is his responsibility simply to support it. But he cannot love me enough to replace it. And I think we might come across really great men that we don’t recognize because we are asking for the impossible. Which is, ‘Please love me more than I’m willing to love myself.’ It doesn’t work.”

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