EVERYTHING WE LEARNT FROM JADA PINKETT-SMITH AND GABRIELLE UNION’S ‘WOMAN TO WOMAN’ CONVERSATION
Two of the world’s most recognised black actresses sat down to settle a 17 year-long feud while dropping several tidbits of wisdom on life, love and sisterhood. Both women who have enjoyed immense success in their careers had a one-on-one conversation that was deeply personal for both women and probably even slightly uncomfortable as they admitted to several tense moments in each other’s presence through out their careers. This honest conversation offered lots of soul food and held water for women across the board from the young to the old-much like Union’s best-seller, ‘We’re going to need more wine’. It also offered an in-depth look on how none of us really have it all figured out; not even the greats.
They broke down some of their lessons and mistakes thus far, and even further, went on to acknowledge their petty misunderstanding (we can all relate to this one), even dating as far back as an awards ceremony in which they had attended and both women were cornered into taking a group picture which ended up being all shades of awkward (again, we all know that feelig where neither of us wants to get off the petty bus.
The conversation doesn’t end badly however, as it seems as though they may even go on to becoming good friends; we love a story that ends with reconciliation.
Let’s have a look at some of the gems that were dropped.
#Gem1: Bad blood has an effect on your life.
The show starts off with Jada announcing that this particular episode is themed around ‘Healing’.
You think that it doesn’t affect you but it does because your mind keeps going back to it.
They also talk about Gabrielle’s own journey and relationships with women in the industry dating back to the speech she gave at the most recent Essence awards in which she revealed that she used to cower under fierce, winning women and she relished in it when they weren’t doing as well.
I used to shrink in the presence of other dope, beautiful, women
Their shine in no way diminishes our light, it makes our light shine even brighter.
Assasinating someone’s character will not grow you in any way, Union reveals about her battle with gossip and the realisation of the negativity that it arouses.
All the negative things that had been happening to me was exactly the negativity I was dishing out.
#Gem 2: Hitting Rock bottom could be the healing you require.
“I hit rock bottom and it was everyone else’s fault but my own”.
Union admits to having worked with AJ Johnson as her life coach which has really helped her process. She adds that she needed to nearly lose her career and lose her marriage to fully evolve into the woman she’s ultimately become.
#Gem 3: If you don’t know what makes you happy, how can someone else make you happy?
Often times, we think the relationship or the friendship isn’t working due to our partner and while we focus on them, it takes the responsibility off us. Both women agree that It’s much easier to do so and taking the high road just isn’t as appealing. It is important to be wholesome yourself and know what makes you happy before anyone else can play a role in complementing that, they both conclude.
#Gem4: Say NO more often
No means boundaries so it’s scary because it means people won’t or might not come back.
If I don’t do it, he’ll find someone else to do it.- Union says of her relationships.
Pinkett-Smith speaks on her own experience where she got to a point with husband, Will Smith where she was able to say no to certain things. ‘This idea that you have to be mother, wife, business woman etc all at the same time is overwhelming,’ and each woman discusses how she had to learn to say ‘No’ within all of that. Union adds that ‘you give so much of yourself that you have nothing left for you. It’s ok to let some things slide’, she adds.
Both women also gave voice to the societal belief that a good wife should have an enormous amount of propensity to handle pain. Union hampers further that this is one message society tries hard to propagate. She speaks on having to get into marriage as an evolved person having to redefine that messaging within her own home ensuring that both parties accepted responsibility to ensure that they did the best they could not to hurt the other party.
#Gem5: Healing is ok
Gabrielle admits to having been raped at gun point at 19 years old, both women speak about the #MeToo movement as Union adds that she needed to go from feeling like a victim and having to go from that to becoming a survivor. She speaks about the importance of finding her tribe with the #MeToo movement as before this, too many women had simply been suffering in silence and she had felt like she was screaming into a hurricane and no one could hear her.
Pinkett adds that this year is her year of growth, particularly inspirational as it alludes to the fact that you and I can revamp, rebrand, shed old skin for the new at any point in our lives as long as it leads to growth and journeying to our purpose. There’s simply no time frame or age restriction for this.
The video ends off with both parties holding hands and expressing their gratitude that this day could come.
I think more than anything, this conversation was a good lesson on wholesomeness and the recognition that each person is fighting their own internal battles. Maybe if we were more wary of this, we would be better understanding of people’s actions that many times, have nothing to do with us.
Are you holding a grudge? Do you find that another woman’s sadness makes you smile? It might be time to have that talk with yourself. What is it about yourself that you hate so much that allows you to brew negativity? Can you take stock of how that negativity might have seeped into your life without your realising it?
Watch the full video here: