I love Jada Pinkett Smith — and it's not just because she was Tupac's homegirl. Mainly, my admiration stems from the fact that she always emanates an air of strength and poise. It was evident way back when she played the fish-out-of-water college student Lena on the Cosby-spinoff A Different World. Her solid sense of self has only grown more apparent since then, most noticeably in the way she handles people questioning her approach to motherhood, the roles she chooses, and in the lines of her inspiring Facebook posts.
As if I needed another reason to admire her, Smith is one of many to back the social media campaign #JusticeforJada and recently spoke with Us Weekly about her efforts to raise sexual assault awareness. Smith revealed why she was so deeply impacted by the story of the 16-year-old whose rape went viral.
"If you saw what I put on Facebook, you also saw that this could happen
to any woman that we know and the unfortunate part is that my niece was
given a date-rape drug that weekend," Smith said. Fortunately, a few friends got Smith's 20-year-old niece to safety and protected her from further harm, but Smith still took the opportunity to teach her daughter Willow a lesson.
So many people give her flack about some of her parenting choices, but here, Smith presents herself as a wonderful example of a celebrity who constantly reinforces positive messages for women by encouraging self-acceptance, healthy self-images and self-love, even in light of such a horrible incident.
This shouldn't be mistaken as another form of celebrity worship that paints Smith as some infallible goddess. When everyone raised a brow at the photo of Smith's daughter Willow lying in bed with Moises Arias I certainly had my opinions as well, but Smith seems more than equipped to handle child-rearing, so I'll gladly leave that up to her. Regardless, it's still refreshing that Smith isn't the only one who benefits from her star power. She uses that same light to illuminate and lift the spirits of other women and girls, which is the definition of a true star.