Her New Book
At Child's cover shoot in Los Angeles, Jada and her friendly, sweet-natured kids were accompanied by the Smiths' longtime nanny, who spoke fondly of Will and Jada's dedication as parents. Jada's love of family was evident as she chatted about her writing and her busy, kid-centered life.
Why did you decide to write a book especially for young girls?
I lived with a lot of women when I was growing up -- my grandmother, my mother, and my aunt -- and there were some basic principles instilled in me as a young girl that I wanted to express. I felt there weren't any books that connected to my experiences.
What message did you want to convey?
Don't be afraid to be you. Know that you are exceptional. You can do anything if you believe in it and are motivated to work for it. That's a message I feel that young girls often don't get. We spend a lot of time trying to live up to someone else's ideas of who we should be.
What qualities do you admire most in your mother and your grandmother?
Their endurance and integrity. My grandmother was a doer who wanted to create a better community and add beauty to the world. She was a social worker and one of the first people to bring sex education into the school system in Baltimore. I remember she started a flower-arranging club and a gardening club at my school. She helped one of the first black mayors in America get elected. My mom is a nurse, and she and I did a lot of growing up together because she was a young mom. She has a great relationship with my kids and travels a lot with us when we're working.
Do you feel that girls have different self-image issues than boys?
Absolutely. I think sometimes our young girls feel as if they have to become more masculine in order to be noticed. I try to help my daughter realize that there is strength in being a girl. As the book says, we girls play our part in holding up the world.