Jodie Turner-Smith on how raising her daughter has helped ‘heal’ her
Jodie Turner-Smith has said raising her biracial daughter has helped “heal” her “own conversations around colourism”.
The British actress and model, 36, welcomed her first child with her actor husband Joshua Jackson in April 2020.
Turner-Smith has revealed she did have to initially pause when they considered trying for children as she realised they would have a “completely different experience” to her growing up.
She told Elle UK magazine: “It’s interesting because I had a lot of resistance to becoming a mother and, 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.
“Then I fell in love with my husband and we talked about having kids. 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’.
“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 colourism.”
The actress added that she loves her daughter “so much” but recognises the responsibility of preparing her for the world.
“The best thing that we can do is let them touch the earth and be grounded and real – as real as one can be when you have the level of privilege that obviously my child has”, she said.
“I’m not acting like she’s not a nepo baby. But I worked damn hard to have a nepo baby!”
Turner-Smith has starred in a number of hit films including 2019 crime drama Queen & Slim as well as action thriller Without Remorse and sci-fi drama After Yang.
She has also recently portrayed Anne Boleyn in Channel 5’s series about the former Queen of England.
The actress admitted that growing up with a lack of role models who looked like her did affect her “psyche”.
“You’ve never seen anybody who looks like you held up as beautiful. That definitely affected my psyche”, she said.
“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’.”
The May issue of ELLE UK is on sale from 30 March.