Jada Pinkett Smith

[INTERVIEW] Jada Pinkett Smith Talks New Projects, and Why We Shouldn't Hate on Reality TV

The Madagascar 3 star speaks with EBONY on her "Red Table Talks" series, and why we should all be responsible for the TV we watch

Geneva S. Thomas

by Geneva S. Thomas, June 06, 2012

Jada Pinkett Smith

Photo courtesy of Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images


EBONY: How do you balance your career and your children? I mean obviously they are top notch, how do you do it?

JPS: Balance?

EBONY: The career and motherhood?

JPS: Because it’s not separate. I never stop being a mother and I never stop being an artist. You understand? Which is probably why my kids are so creative, because it’s not separated. You see, when I’m with my kids I’m creating, and I’m still a mom. And when I’m creating I’m still a mom. You know, it’s not like…I don’t wear two different hats. My kids will be on the set with me. That’s one of the reasons that I had my mom. I had that segment where my mother was on that because I was breastfeeding so she had to sit on that set. Like literally, like on a chair while I’m sitting up there doing karate she’s sitting up in that chair with Willow in her lap and walking Willow around because she can’t go anywhere because I’m breastfeeding. And none of my kids took a bottle. They would not take a bottle. Do you hear me? So they couldn’t leave my side for a very long time. You know. And so I’m sitting up there doing Kung Fu, movie Kung Fu, but I still have to do the mommy thing. There’s no separation. You know, and if I’m at home with my kids and I’m feeding them, I remember talking to Latifah and she’s like, “Girl I remember coming to your house and seeing you dancing in front of them kids. Feeding them kids, rapping, and signing, and all that.” And I said, “That’s why, that’s how they got all that.” I was like, “Nah, that’s just what you call good genes. You know what I’m saying?” You get with the artist, you make artists. You know? So. Yeah.

EBONY: One of the things that I love about Gloria is that in all three movies she never apologized for her appearance and how she looks.

JPS: Right.

EBONY: How do you think little girls watching that movie, how can we use that to empower them as far as positive body images?

JPS: Yeah. See that’s why I love Gloria, you know. And the idea that, you know, she’s a lot of girl, and she loves it. And I try to give her that sass and that swag, you know? And I think it’s not even about necessarily talking about it but sometimes just showing it, that it’s about how you look at yourself and how you carry yourself. And I’m dealing with this issue very deeply right now in dealing with the idea of romanticism in this next video that I’m doing, _____ (11:25) that comes out June 19 in regards to human trafficking because how most women and girls get caught up in this is the dream. Right? You get sold the dream, that whole romantic idea that you are going to find the perfect person, you are going to find the perfect situation. Right?

And a lot of times it steals…we give away our power in thinking that we have to look to someone else to have acceptance for who we are. Right? And that our images of ourselves are based on how other people see us. And anytime that you do that you are going to be a very unhappy person because it varies too much. He might be happy with something that she might not be happy with. So now you are stuck in between the middle in trying to figure out, “Well who am I supposed to be?” Versus focusing on, “Who are you happy with? What are you happy with?” Because at the end of the day what she thinks and what he believes has nothing to do with your existence. And I tell you what, the moment that you understand you power, your beauty, your life changes. When we get out of expecting him to accept you, her to accept you, or anybody else to accept you, okay because it’s too varied. It’s too varied. But I’ll tell you what’s not varied, how you feel about yourself. And if you can carry that with you, you are going to be okay.

EBONY: When did you understand your power and your beauty?

JPS: Listen, that’s something that you continue to…because you learn it on so many levels. You know, you find one aspect…I look at even my daughter Willow, you know, and she’s way ahead of the game now than I was at her age. And I can only imagine who she’s going to be as a 40-year-old woman. You know, because it’s a journey. It’s a journey. So it’s something that you continue. You don’t get to a destination of it because the more you start to grow, and the more

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