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Jada Pinkett Smith is sharing thoughts on having her alopecia diagnosis placed at the center of a major scandal after husband Will Smith slapped Oscars presenter Chris Rock following the comedian’s joke about her shaved head.
During an interview with The Guardian that published online Friday, Pinkett Smith was asked if she learned anything after having her autoimmune disease get such a public spotlight. The actress, known for roles in the Matrix franchise and Girls Trip, has been open in recent years about her hair loss due to alopecia.
“I learned a lot about detachment,” Pinkett Smith said. “And I learned a deeper beauty within myself, being able to let my hair go.”
She went on to call her diagnosis “a great teacher. It’s been a hard one, a scary one — because specifically as Black women, we identify so much of ourselves with our hair. And it was scary. I had to really dig deep and see the beauty of myself beyond my aesthetics.”
At the 2022 Academy Awards ceremony in March, Rock likened Pinkett Smith to Demi Moore’s G.I. Jane character, who had a shaved head. The following day, Will Smith apologized in an Instagram post where he wrote, in part, that a “joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear, and I reacted emotionally.”
During a June episode of her chat series Red Table Talk, Pinkett Smith focused on discussing alopecia in light of the Oscars incident, with the actress saying that the toughest part for her is that her hair will come and go. “People don’t understand what alopecia is, and they don’t understand the effects of it,” she said at the time.
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