Jada Pinkett Smith joined the league of actresses-turned-authors with the release of her highly publicized memoir Worthy. The beloved actress and Red Table Talk host delves into her past, adding visceral context to a life that has endured public speculation for decades. But while others who have done the same have been celebrated for reclaiming their public narrative, Jada Pinkett Smith has been met with scorn and fury on social media. The public feels they have a right to dictate who can tell their side of the story and who doesn’t.
Worthy focuses on Pinkett Smith’s journey from scared child to defiant teenager, charismatic performer, and devout, if unconventional, wife. She describes in great detail her mental health and familial challenges. She sheds light on the cracks in her marriage and expresses her definition of what it means to be committed. Prior to the release of Worthy, Jada’s longtime partner, Will Smith, released his memoir in November 2021. He disclosed the couple’s practice of ethical non-monogamy in the pages of Will. He admitted to his own shortcomings and resentments.
The reception to his book was quite different. He was considered vulnerable, charming, and strong. Yet, Jada is depicted as conniving, manipulative, and shrewd. Why does a Black woman owning her narrative evoke outrage?
Will Smith Supports His Wife
People act as if Jada is holding Will hostage when, throughout it all, he has stood 10 toes down by her side during the process. During an appearance at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Will showed up to support his queen, The Baltimore Sun reported. “I just really wanted to come out and just be here and hold it down for you the way you have held it down for me,” he told the crowd.
In an interview with our sister site BOSSIP, Jada recalled that Will was one of the first to read her book and his supportive reaction.
“Will read the whole book,” Pinkett-Smith told Janee Bolden. “He was probably, he was one of the first people to read the whole book.”
She added, “He just helped me understand the psychological process of it all,” Jada told BOSSIP. “He just put me on game in regards to the benefits of writing the book and then, kind of the sticky areas. He’s like, ‘You’re gonna be really emotional. Going back is not always easy.’”
As Pinkett Smith’s mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, pointed out, there have been peaks and valleys throughout their relationship. She has seen her daughter struggle with the demands of motherhood and partnership, as Smith has. These are adults with unique relationship dynamics. The narrative that Pinkett Smith is forcing the people around her into emotional ruin is unfair.
Jada Pinkett Smith And Tupac
Between The binds of Worthy, Jada Pinkett Smith’s goes into detail about her soulmate connection with the late rapper Tupac, which has remained a constant headline along her book tour. Jada has talked about so many other aspects of her love life but the public seemed to cling to her relationship with Pac, constantly prying for more information.
Jada revealed Tupac once proposed to her when he was in jail, but she knew she would be unable to fulfill that role because he was looking for someone to hold him down.
“Because of our friendship and because of everything we have been through together, he just wanted to feel that solidified foundation, you know?” Pinkett Smith revealed on the All The Smoke podcast. “Because I promise you, he would have married and divorced me as soon as his a** left jail.”
The obsession with their platonic friendship seems to be a pillar of the hate for Jada, who is accused he emaculating Will Smith because she’s talking about her past experiences with another man. Adding to that narrative was Jada’s private-made-public entanglement with August Alsina and the slap heard ’round the world at the Oscars. People have opinions on their private lives but add to the public curiosity. Stephen A. Smith deemed Jada “cruel” for opening up about these life experiences.
“This public emasculation needs to stop. Jada, all you’re doing is elevating the level of vitriol coming your way. Because it don’t matter what you say. There’s nothing you can say to a man to justify what you have done to Will Smith. Every time I see Jada Pinkett Smith talk about Will Smith, I cringe. We kings. We ain’t here like to be treated like that.”
In an essay for The Atlantic, Jemele Hill offered her takeaway from the “unfair” criticism Jada has been facing. she wrote, “Unfortunately, when Black women take the courageous step of voicing their pain, trauma, frustrations, and vulnerabilities, they are routinely met with derision, skepticism, and disdain. The message they receive is: Shut up and prioritize everyone else’s needs but yours, even if it means losing important pieces of yourself.”
Worthy is not the only celebrity memoir making the media rounds this way. Britney Spears made headlines when she exposed intimate details about her sexual relationship with Justin Timberlake and Colin Ferrell in her upcoming memoir, The Woman in Me.
Pamela Anderson explains her take on her public persona in Love, Pamela: A Memoir of Prose, Poetry, and Truth. Kerry Washington cracks open her whole family history in Thicker Than Water. Taraji P. Henson and Gabrielle Union were championed for recounting their relationship sagas in Around The Way Girl, and You Got Anything Stronger.
Jada and Will’s life has been speculated on by the public for years, and Jada and Will are ready to own their own narratives. She should be permitted to tell her side of the story when and how she chooses to.
Jada Pinkett Smith Has Every Right To Speak Her Truth was originally published on hellobeautiful.com
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