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Jodie Turner-Smith Shares How Her Biracial Daughter Helped Heal Her Wounds With Colorism
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Jodie Turner-Smith Shares How Her Biracial Daughter Helped Heal Her Wounds With Colorism

Many would often say after having kids, their overall perception of life would change. Although the shift has various reasons, it could mainly just boil down to how individuals raise their children, which happened to actress and model Jodie Turner-Smith.


During an interview withElle Magazine, Smith opened up about how becoming a mother to a biracial child taught her significant lessons about her thoughts on colorism. Smith has been married to actor Joshua Jackson since 2019. The couple would ultimately welcome their daughter Janie Jackson the following year.

Jodie Turner-Smith On Raising a Biracial Daughter With Her Husband

On March 27, the 36-year-old shared that she was forced to make peace with her past regarding the issues of colorism because she realized that her daughter wouldn't encounter the same experiences as her due to the toddler's skin complexion.

"She is going to have a completely different experience in the world than I did, because I have given birth to a mixed-race girl," she said.

Further in the conversation, Smith mentioned that, before having Janie, she was resistant to being a mother. When the Queen & Slimstar finally decided to have kids, she revealed that she wished to have fully Black children to give them the love the world didn't give her because of her darker skin tone.

"It's interesting because I had a lot of resistance to becoming a mother," Smith explained. "Throughout my life, I always said if I were to have children, I wanted to have Black, Black babies so that I could affirm them as children with the love that I felt I needed to have been affirmed with by the outside world."

But as luck would have it, Smith fell in love with Jackson, a white man. As their relationship progressed over the years, the couple discussed having children. The Independent star claimed that despite her past goals of wanting fully Black children, not having a baby with her partner because they were white just seemed "insane."

Smith added that after acknowledging that the pair would take the next step and have a family, it did cause her to think about how her children would "look like" people that she once felt "tormented by."

"Then I fell in love with my husband, and we talked about having kids. To decide not to have a child with somebody you love, just because they're white, was insane to me. But, at the same time, I did have this mini pause where I was like, 'She's going to be walking through the world not only having an experience that I did not have but looking like people that, in a way, I'd always felt a little bit tormented by," Smith said.

The mother of one disclosed that after welcoming her daughter in April 2020, all those thoughts disappeared. Smith also expressed that raising the almost three-year-old was the universe's way of helping her heal with her "own conversations around colorism."

Smith On How She Gained Her Self-Confidence

When asked how she's been able to be confident despite the past struggles she's faced with not being accepted as a standard of beauty, Smith shared it has been an ongoing journey due to the lack of proper representation.

In her response, Smith recounted how the entertainment industry made her question her self-worth while mentioning a 1943 film Stormy Weather. The movie had an entire Black cast, but the two leads were a dark-skinned man named Bill Robinson and Lena Horne, a light-skinned woman.

Smith stated it would appear problematic because women with a darker complexion who never had a proper lead role were often "desexualized" and depicted as the "mammy" character at the time. She went on to say that it fueled the idea that dark-skinned women weren't viewed as beautiful in society.

Smith also shared that these films and shows and not seeing anyone who looked like her being "held up as beautiful" greatly affected her. The Murder Mystery 2 star revealed that she would eventually gain self-confidence by simply "faking it" until it became a reality in her adult life.

"Because you've never seen anybody who looks like you held up as beautiful. That definitely affected my psyche," Smith explained. "Anyone who has known me throughout my life would say, 'Oh, Jodie has very high self-esteem.' But it affected me, I just faked it till I made it. It wasn't until adulthood that I began to come into myself. For a long time, people would even say to me, 'You're so pretty...for a dark-skinned girl.'"

Since then, Smith has been gracing the covers of various high-profile magazines, starred in numerous projects, and has been revered as one of the most beautiful people in the world. Although the actress has dealt with the issues, it brings up an interesting conversation that many need to have, especially in Hollywood.

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Featured image by John Shearer/WireImage

 

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