Incredible Characters

Inspirational Human: Willow Smith by Pleasant Folk

Willow Smith uses her social media influence as a platform to support other artists. She is constantly posting or re-posting the artwork of aspiring artists and linking their page. She was very vocal at an early age showing the world an incredible example of a care-free Black girl! Willow’s 2014 quote about literature in New York Times Magazine resonated with me on many levels as a reader and creator. Create the art you want to see and be the change you want to see! The media would often try to degrade the free-flowing energy of the Smith children and they rose above it every time. Her quote is full of truth and creativity, with a dash of wit and humor.

WILLOW: You piece it together. You piece together those little moments of inspiration.

WILLOW: That’s what I do with novels. There’re no novels that I like to read so I write my own novels, and then I read them again, and it’s the best thing.

JADEN: Willow’s been writing her own novels since she was 6.

Portrait of Willow Smith from  The Cut  courtesy of Maison Margiela

Portrait of Willow Smith from The Cut courtesy of Maison Margiela

Inspirational Human: Jennifer Aniston by Pleasant Folk

In her August 2018 cover story for InStyle, Jennifer Aniston spoke her truth about feminism and sexism in Hollywood. Jennifer has always been an outspoken and honest woman which is so refreshing. She spoke frankly about how she refused to allow men to abuse her on the job by removing herself from situations of harassment. She added that other women treated her poorly verbally and energetically more so than men.

These two points resonated so deeply for me! In cases of harassment in the workplace, I attempted confront these men directly to use my words and actions to shut things down to the best of my abilities. HR and administration was typically unprofessional and unsympathetic (I did have a male RA at SMU who came to my aid). As a Black woman at work, there was greater risk for me being deemed a ‘troublemaker’. But, it was women that deliberately attempted to shove a glass ceiling on my head or derail my experiences at work and university. Unfortunately, the interviewer did not expand the conversation with this point. Regardless, Jennifer gave us words of wisdom that go straight to the heart.

MM: Have you ever been sexually harassed in the workplace?

JA: I’ve definitely had some sloppy moves made on me by other actors, and I handled it by walking away. I’ve never had anyone in a position of power make me feel uncomfortable and leverage that over me. In my personal experience I’ve been treated worse verbally and energetically by some women in this industry. 

Inspirational Human: Maisie Williams by Pleasant Folk

Maisie Williams via Instagram  @maisie_williams

Maisie Williams via Instagram @maisie_williams

Media outlet TicToc caught up with Maisie Williams during the Game of Thrones Season 8 red carpet premiere. Maisie talked about the importance of kindness on the job in the film industry. I think these wise words apply to the arts as a whole.

“Is there something you’re going to take from Game of Thrones to future projects?“ -TicToc Reporter

“Yeah, I’m never going to work with people that aren’t nice and fun. Because everyone on this show has been nice and they’ve treated each other so wonderfully and we all respect each other so much. So there’s no excuse for it (for not being nice). I think the movie industry is full of a lot of people that are quite entitled and no one is like that on this show and there is no excuse for it (entitlement). So, I hope that if I’m ever creating a film in the future I don’t work with people who are unpleasant to be around.”

-Maisie Williams