Actor and business mogul Jessica Alba, supermodel, entrepreneur and host of Pretty Big Deal Ashley Graham, and country music star Maren Morris virtually joined the red table with Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow, Gammy, and clinical psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula for a candid convo on “Red Table Talk.”
On the series, Jada Pinkett Smith, her daughter Willow, and mother Adrienne “Gammy” invite viewers into their home for a series of groundbreaking and intimate conversations.
Focused primarily on Mom-Shaming, Right On! Digital found the episode to be jaw-dropping.
The first time Jada was seriously mom-shamed was when Willow shaves her head.
“Over the years, I have had my fair share of mom-shaming. With Willow, I think the first time I got hardcore criticism [was] when you first cut your hair, I mean there was a firestorm.” – Jada
“It was a constant, and even [with] how you decided to educate us.” – Willow
“You had two parents that worked, so I get shamed for homeschooling you so that you can be with us, and I would have gotten shamed for leaving you here and you not being with us.” – Jada
“You can’t win.” – Gammy
“I think people shaming me for my mothering affected you [Gammy] far more than it did me.” – Jada
“Absolutely…but I also felt like these people are talking about your children that they don’t even know. Making you guys out to be these brats, Hollywood brats. You guys were never that, ever!” – Gammy
Willow felt shunned by the African American community.
“The thing that I had to consider was that they weren’t raised typically and I think for, especially our community, it was something new.” – Jada
“Specifically with the African American community, I felt like me and Jaden were shunned a little bit. Like, we’re not going to take pride in them because they’re too different, they’re too weird…Even some of our family members, I would feel they thought we’re too different.” – Willow
“We do have a way within the community that we expect our kids to be raised, like how you behave, how you carry yourself…” – Gammy
“But there are different ways that can be successful.” – Jada
“It was difficult for me to even let go and give you guys free reign over your own children.” – Gammy
“Oh we know!…When I was younger, I knew when Gammy was around it ain’t no joke.” – Willow
Willow shares how people would shame Jada through her by saying, “Your mother should have taught you better.”
“Did people shame me, through you?” – Jada
“100 percent. Oh my god. I would be at places or events and people would say things.” – Willow
“And they would be like, ‘Your mom let you come out like that?’” – Gammy
“Yeah exactly. It was always like, “Oh it’s not your fault, your mother should have taught you better.’” – Willow
Ashley Graham goes from being body-shamed to mom-shamed and notes that breasts are “multi-purposeful.”
“I know you have felt the wrath of the mommy-shaming police.” – Jada
“It’s interesting because my whole career has been based around body-shaming because I’m a curvy girl who has come into a skinny world and said that my body, and other bodies like mine, need to be normalized. I knew that it was coming and I was ready to combat it, but it never feels good to have someone tell you that you’re not doing a good enough job, that you’re doing something wrong. I can sit here and tell you that I just brush it off, but I don’t brush it off.”- Ashley Graham
“The first time I had taken Isaac out in public. He was just under a month old, and I wanted to go to my favorite brunch spot. And I thought, “Oh my gosh, what am I going to do if I have to breastfeed?” Well, I’m just going to feed him. So then I said to my husband, Justin, ‘Take a picture! This is my first time breastfeeding him in public’ this is something I always want to remember.’” – Ashley
“They tore you up. I know they did.” – Gammy
“I agonized over what I was going to say and then I finally just wrote something like two emojis, a milk and a cookie, and sure enough I got mom-shamed.” – Ashley
“I can only imagine, Ashley. When I saw the picture, inside my heart I had to clap because I remember when I would be out with Jaden and Willow breastfeeding. Remember I used to have that little breastfeed cover, and it would make it so difficult? They’re in there, they’re suffocating, I can’t see them. I had so much anxiety about it because back when I had them, breastfeeding was like, WHAT? What are you doing?!” – Jada
When Willow shaved her head, it was an expression of freedom and it didn’t matter to Jada that she was mom-shamed.
“For me, looking at how my children were being affected, that’s what [counted]. When people were like, ‘Oh my god I can’t believe you shaved Willow’s head!’ If they could have seen this child’s expression of freedom, looking at her hair falling to the ground. So me as a mom looking at that, experiencing that with her, there is nothing that anyone could say to me to tell me that it was wrong. Not one person, because I was there, I was looking at her. I saw her face. I knew the journey that she and I took together to get to that point. And so it didn’t really matter what anybody said.” – Jada
Jessica Alba was shamed for gaining weight during pregnancy.
“I do feel really isolated and things do feel magnified.” – Jessica
“100 percent, and I just think that it’s because everybody is at home on their phones, feeling like everybody else needs some advice from them about how to be a better mother.” – Ashley
“And it’s not just moms shaming moms…” – Dr. Ramani
“Even my OB told me, ‘You really shouldn’t be gaining more than the 25 pounds for your entire pregnancy.’ And I was like, ‘Oooh, I kind of gained that in my first trimester with all three.’ That’s just life. That’s me. That’s the way my body carries these babies.” – Jessica
Beyonce and Gabriel Union’s daughters are shamed for their hair
“This Black hair situation is real. I mean, it’s a problem. When we talk about Blue Ivy, Beyoncé’s child, and how she’s been shamed for her natural hair. When we talk about [Gabriel Union’s] daughter, who’s been shamed for her natural hair [and also] Willow.” – Jada
“It’s ridiculous. Hair is a button for us.” – Gammy
“Every single Black woman that I know has a wound somewhere in their childhood about their hair and about what someone said about their hair.” – Willow
Jada shamed more for Jaden than Willow because he wasn’t what people consider your “typical” Black man.
“I got shamed a lot for Willow, but [with] Jaden that was hardcorde.” – Jada
“You think people shamed you more for Jaden than for me?” – Willow
“I think as Jaden got older, you know when he did the Louis Vuitton thing and he was wearing a skirt, you know? And then he isn’t what people consider your typical Black man, which is like what is that supposed to be?” – Jada
“Is he supposed to be sagging to his knees?” – Willow
“Right. Even in the community we create stereotypes around ourselves and it’s something that we, as a community, really have to learn how to let go of. I know that people felt like it’s dangerous…you know what it’s like to be a Black or Brown person in this world. You are doing your kids a disservice. I understood where that fear came from, but I also understood, from having been on the streets and having had not been your conventional Black girl in the streets of Baltimore, I knew that self-confidence is what helped me survive.” – Jada
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