Womenz Magazine

Jada Pinkett Smith says having alopecia forced her to ‘see the beauty of myself beyond my aesthetics’: “When you get to my age, you get so settled in your skin”

(Jordan Fisher / Facebook Watch)

Jada Pinkett Smith’s baldness, caused by alopecia, an autoimmune ailment that causes hair loss, may have been the butt of a Chris Rock joke that enraged husband Will Smith and interrupted this year’s Oscars, but the Red Table Talk host believes her condition has been a “great teacher.”

In an interview with the Guardian, the actress, 51, discussed how having alopecia has challenged her perceptions of beauty as a Black woman.

“It’s been a hard one, a scary one — because specifically as Black women, we identify so much of ourselves with our hair,” she told the U.K. newspaper. “And it was scary. I had to really dig deep and see the beauty of myself beyond my aesthetics.”

She added, “When you get to my age, you get so settled in your skin, so comfortable in the knowingness of you, that you don’t get concerned about what other people have to say. The elders earn that.”

According to Atlantablackstar, Rock’s joke and her husband’s angry reaction to it sparked a lot of discussion about the Girls Trip star’s hair loss. While the comedian claims he had no idea the actress had alopecia, many criticized him for remarking on her appearance which he compared to G.I. Jane, a 1997 film in which Demi Moore shaved her head to play a female Navy SEAL recruit in the first place.

“I learned a lot about detachment,” Smith, who deals with bald patches by shaving her head, said of having her condition thrust into the spotlight following the Oscars skirmish. “And I learned a deeper beauty within myself, being able to let my hair go.”

Smith, who is now promoting the Netflix docuseries African Queens, which she narrates and executive produces, also mused on aging, saying, “You’ve been through enough trials and challenges,” and turning to daughter Willow, 22, to make her own way.

“I see my younger self in her,” Smith said of her daughter. “She’s so fiery, so ready to go. Ready to take on the world. … Then, as you get older, you don’t hold on to that stage. You pass the torch and settle into your new understanding.”

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