Charlize Theron: An ‘incredible village of Black women’ helps me with my daughters

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Charlize Theron adopted her two daughters, Jackson, 9, and August, 5, in 2012 and 2015. Charlize has been open about tackling Black hair care and raising her daughters to embrace their beauty and heritage. Charlize is profiled in Essence where she states that she has a village of Black women who keep her in check. They help Charlize especially with her daughters’ hair care needs. Charlize is promoting her Addam’s Family animated movie, out now in theaters and VOD. Below are a few highlights from Essence:

Theron is a mother to two adoptive daughters, 9-year-old Jackson and 5-year-old August, both Black children. As a white South African woman, Theron says she realizes that she will not have all the answers when it comes to raising little Black girls, but isn’t afraid to ask for them along the way.

“I have a real acknowledgment, as we all do as parents – we know where we lack and we know where we are rich. And this is maybe not where I am,” she admits. However, she is sure to keep a knowledgeable network around her that can fill in her gaps in knowledge and know-how to help her children take pride in their appearance.

“I am so grateful to the incredible village of strong Black women in my life who I can pick up a phone to, or come over to my house and they’ll tell me: ‘You need to stop doing this,’ or ‘these baby hairs are breaking off. What are you doing?’” she shared. “So they put me in my place, and because of them I feel this great confidence in raising my girls.”

As for the issues of Black girlhood beyond hair care, Theron says she keeps an open mind and ear and listens for her daughters’ guidance on what is necessary.

“I try to have consistent conversation so that it doesn’t feel like we just talk about things where there’s too much importance underlying where they get freaked out,” she said of broaching identity topics with her children. “I find that for them, it’s easier for them to just share and talk about these things. I’m also looking to them, right? They need examples, so I’m trying to create that for them.”

[From Essence]

I love that Charlize is raising her daughters with a village of Black women around so that they aren’t disconnected from their culture and heritage. I also love that Charlize is not afraid to ask questions, check her own bias and embrace her daughters’ journeys. Charlize is right to learn about her daughters’ needs. Black hair is a culture in and of itself and we ourselves are still learning about and embracing it. I feel if you are white and you adopt Black children, particularly girls, or if you are a white woman with biracial Black children, learning about their hair is imperative.

This makes me extremely happy. I know those girls are surrounded by love and are given the freedom to develop their characters and personalities. It is beautiful to see a daughter of apartheid embrace Blackness in the way Charlize has. (I don’t know if Charlize was raised in a certain way but growing up in such a segregated society has to have affected her.) Being willing to confront unconscious bias takes courage. I have always loved Charlize because she is a badass and this story just confirms that.

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Photos via Instagram and credit: Avalon.red

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