Jodie Turner-Smith On Raising a Biracial Daughter: ‘I’ve Been Given a Daughter Who Looks This Way to Heal’

by Xara Aziz
Credit: Instagram jodiesmith

Queen & Slim actress Jodie Turner-Smith is opening up for the first time about motherhood and how raising a biracial daughter has helped her heal from her experiences with colorism.

In a feature story for ELLE, the British-born star said that she knew her daughter would have a “completely different experience” than she had growing up as a “dark-skinned girl.”

“It’s interesting because I had a lot of resistance to becoming a mother,” she told the publication. “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.”

All of that changed when she met actor Josh Jackson and fell in love. It was then that she said she realized that “to decide not to have a child with somebody you love, just because they’re White, was insane to me.”

She further revealed that although she faced an internal battle within herself, she had to learn to accept that her daughter’s life journey would be different than her own.

“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,” she explained. “Now that I’ve got this little, tiny, light-skinned boss, I feel like it’s the universe teaching me lessons. I’ve been given a daughter who looks this way to heal my own conversations around colorism.”

The 36-year-old also confessed that growing up with limited role models who looked like her made it even more difficult to embrace her skin.

“For a long time in entertainment any sort of dark-skinned figures were held up as unattractive. That has a huge effect on the zeitgeist and it trickles down.”

She continued: “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.”

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