Actress, singer, and activist Jada Pinkett Smith graces a recent issue of Net-A-Porter ‘s The Edit , where she speaks on several topics including marriage, parenting, and sex trafficking.
The latter of which has become a very personal project for Jada, who testified on sex trafficking to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2012.
She also executive produced 2012’s Rape for Profit film, launched Don’t Sell Bodies , and is currently working with CNN on a human trafficking documentary.
For her sleek Edit photo shoot with photographer Chris Colls , fashion stylist Kate Young adorns Jada in elegant pieces from Alexander McQueen, Victoria Beckham, Christian Louboutin, Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane, Narciso Rodriguez, Maison Martin Margiela , Giambattista Valli , and more.
Take a look at her interview below, along with more photos from the feature below.
On her new role on FOX’s Gotham (Sept. 22):
“Playing a villain is really about diving into your own personal shadows. I wouldn’t say it’s easy, but it’s definitely fun.”
On staying fit:
“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that it’s about being physical every day. You don’t have to go to the gym if that’s not your thing. You can go outside your door and walk around your block. “You can take a brisk walk, a light jog, a slow stroll if you want! I feel like, as I’ve gotten older, I look better than ever and I work out less. I’m never in the gym for [more than] 45 minutes.”
Her take on parenting:
“I want my kids to be happy and I want them to be themselves. I was saying to a friend the other day, ‘Remember, our kids are not us.’ They’re not. Sometimes we’re trying to fix things that happened to us or projecting [onto them], and that’s a terrible, terrible trap.”
In defense of daughter Willow photographed with shirtless 20-year-old actor named Moises Arias:
“Just don’t pollute something that’s not dirty.”
On what women face today:
“It’s really tough. I feel like the connection to the value of women on a bigger scale has decreased tremendously. Even though you look and go, ‘Women have so many opportunities,’ it’s like, ‘Yeah, but at what cost?’ Are women valued for being women, or are women valued when they have more masculine qualities? Men and women encompass both female and masculine energies, but it seems like when the feminine is present, it’s not respected. ”
On sex trafficking:
“When your daughter comes to you and is like, ‘Hey Mom, do you know that there are people selling girls my age for sex in this country?’ My first response was, ‘Oh no, that doesn’t happen here.’ Then I did my research and I thought, ‘How could this be going on here and I not know?’ I felt ashamed and, being a woman in an industry that has a voice, I just felt this enormous amount of responsibility to at least let other people know. ‘Guess what guys? It’s not just happening over there. It’s happening right here.’ I just had to get that word out.”
“The thing I’ve realized about sex trafficking is that every single woman is susceptible to being trafficked. It doesn’t matter what your background is, your economic status, what language you speak or the color of your skin. A lot of people want to believe it only happens to poor girls, and that’s not true. When I talk to these girls, I see myself, I see my mother, I see my daughter, I see my girlfriends, I see my sons. There are a lot of boys being trafficked as well, so this is a people problem. ”
On her marriage to Will Smith:
“We used to have all these rules, [but] as you go on in your relationship, you just get into a flow,” she says. “The thing I love is being in a place where it’s just like, Will, to me, encompasses everything. It’s almost as if calling him ‘my husband’ is too small of a word for what he means in my life — and especially how I feel we, as women, identify the idea of a husband. I really had to mature and expand that. I think I had a very stuck idea of what a husband looks like, what a wife should be. Once I broke all of that, a whole new world opened for me and man, oh, man, I got to see him in all his glory. And so that’s what it’s evolved into. And I’m just ecstatic about it.”
On dealing with rumors:
The coping technique is knowing what the truth is – there’s no better technique. When you know that what’s going on in your house is so the opposite [of what’s being said], and you also know that when there’s mystery, people fill in the gaps, that’s OK. And then you look back at it and look at how creative people can be, and it’s kind of entertaining. We can laugh because it’s so ridiculous. But I get it. I don’t take it personally.”
On her favorite place to unwind:
“My bath is like my temple. I have all the potions, all the salts, all the candles. When the door’s shut, it’s the only excuse I have not to answer anybody.”