Jada Pinkett-Smith: She posts a mom’s-eye view of bullying young stars
Jada Pinkett-Smith aired her feelings on Facebook about the media's treatment of young stars like Justin Bieber and Quvenzhane Wallis. Now the media says she's an overprotective Mama Bear.
When actress Jada Pinkett-Smith took to Facebook to thump the media for cyberbullying young artists via the endless ridicule and flaw-finding expeditions, the media instantly downgrade her concerns by virtually dismissing her as “a Mama Bear.”Skip to next paragraph
Lisa Suhay, who has four sons at home in Norfolk, Va., is a children’s book author and founder of the Norfolk (Va.) Initiative for Chess Excellence (NICE) , a nonprofit organization serving at-risk youth via mentoring and teaching the game of chess for critical thinking and life strategies.
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The actress wrote on Facebook: “This last week, I had to really evaluate the communication in regard to our young artists in the media. I was trying to differentiate cyber-bullying from how we attack and ridicule our young stars through media and social networks. It is as if we have forgotten what it means to be young or even how to behave like good ol' grown folk.”
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“It seems very much like this was written from a Mama Bear and less from a celebrity,” said Alicia Mendez of Huffington Post Live during a discussion on Ms. Pinkett-Smith’s lengthy and well though-out Facebook posting on the subject. Alicia Menendez is a host and producer at HuffPost Live, The Huffington Post's streaming video network. According to her bio and that little shiv in the collective maternal ribs, I’m guessing she’s not a mom.
“I get what she’s trying to say, but they are public figures, and, being that, you have to report the news to all their fans. But we could do it differently,” added Huffington Post media reporter Leigh Blickley.
With all respect to Ms. Blickley and Ms. Menendez, I realize they were trying to walk the tightrope between injured party – as members of “the media” and entertainment reporting. Sadly, they were also far from the only media to take this approach to Pinkett-Smith’s comments.
I strive not to be one of those people who uses being a parent as a means of dismissing the opinions of those who aren’t, so this barrage upsets me and puts me in the position of having to go to the “Well you’re not a ‘Mama Bear’ so maybe you can’t ‘get’ it” realm.
It’s just not acceptable to dismiss, relegate, and downgrade a woman’s remarks by playing the “oh that’s just the mom in her talking” card. The mom in a woman is probably the part everyone ought to be coming from, even if that “mom voice” talking is the memory of one’s own mother.
This is doubly true when the topic is something as harmful and potentially life-threatening as bullying. It’s a not hard to see the problem when the audience for this parade of intolerance and denigration is our non-celebrity children who read and watch it online.