Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah Reveal the Advice They'd Give Themselves at 15
By Jennifer Drysdale
There are some things Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah wish their 15-year-old selves knew.
The Girls Trip co-stars made an appearance at the 2017 Essence Festival at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Friday, where they opened up about the advice they'd give their teenage selves.
"Love yourself because people will love you for who you are in the future," said Latifah, who was joined on a panel by Mary J. Blige, Monica, Niecy Nash, Planned Parenthood's Kristi Henderson, director Dee Rees and moderator Tamron Hall. "It’s a tough question to answer, because I don’t know anything other than this journey."
"I’d probably tell my 15-year-old self, ‘Yo, you’re gonna be in a movie with Jada Pinkett,'" she finally revealed.
As for Pinkett Smith, she said she'd "basically tell myself that it's OK."
“At 15 years old it was rough, and I brought a lot of pain out of my childhood into my adulthood that I’m just now dissolving. That pain held me back and I wish I had know then that pain is just a part of your journey and it’s not because you’ve done something wrong or because you’re cursed or you’re a bad person, we’re all going through it,” she shared. “We all have pain, we all have a story. And, so, all we need to do is support each other through it and I wish I had know that, Jada, it’s just a part of it, baby. It’s going to be okay.”
Pinkett Smith's daughter, Willow, is now 16, and though she's certainly independent, the actress told ET that Willow hasn't left the house just yet.
"Willow hasn't left yet," she said of rumors that she's already an empty nester. "Now, she will be 18 soon and I'm sure as soon as she turns 18, she's out. But I have two that are gone."
"That's what we prepare them for -- to go," she explained. "So Mommy goes, 'Bye!' ... The thing is, Jaden lives five minutes from me. Trey lives five minutes from me. They're at the house every day. It's almost like as your kids get older, they actually need you more. So, I have three older kids that need me, like, more than ever! I'm like, 'I'mma get my groove back, I got my freedom.' It's like, no."