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

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 parent 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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17 Responses to “Charlize Theron: An ‘incredible village of Black women’ helps me with my daughters”

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  1. Angie says:

    These beautiful young ladies are in a loving environment (or so it seems) where they may have had a more difficult path had they remained in foster care…Charlize seems to be a loving human being and I love that she prioritizes their culture and heritage. That video of them diving off the yacht is priceless! Creating beautiful memories together, love it!

  2. WithTheAmerican says:

    Beautiful family, love her even more now.

  3. Kaiser says:

    don’t feed the transphobic trolls

  4. Valentina says:

    She’s got two beautiful, amazing girls and it seems like she’s doing her absolute best to give them what they need – good for her :)

  5. sunny says:

    That is really good to hear. Black hair and the caring of it is so tied to communities of black women sharing knowledge- sister, daughters, mother, etc that without that grounding it can be challenging to learn in adulthood(though youtube and the internet I think has helped). Also with the way black children are policed in so many spaces, having them around with their hair not groomed properly can be dangerous to them. I’m all for Charlize giving them this grounding and examples of black beauty in their lives.


    I love Charlize and love how she is raising her girls. She herself had a very difficult upbringing -I remember reading an article once about how her alcoholic father came home drunk one night just shooting his gun off and Charlize’s mother had to shoot (and kill) him in self-defense. I can only imagine her trauma. To see her build this loving, tight-knit but expansive family is awesome.

    • bananapanda says:

      I don’t remember which podcast is was but she has talked about therapy and discovering (to her surprise) that her underlying issues were less about the “incident*” and more about the trauma of growing up in a violent, segregated country and the impact of seeing that violence all around.

      *Her father was an abusive alcoholic. He came home drunk and angry and was trying to break down the bedroom door where Charlize and her mom were hiding. Her mom shot and killed him. It was ruled self defense and there was no trial.

  7. Mich says:

    A friend’s son started telling people he was a boy at age five. He announced that he should be referred to as a boy’s name instead of his given girl’s name. Nobody took him seriously. As he got older, his existence became tortured. His period caused genuine trauma each an every month. He bound his breasts (which caused horrible open wounds in the summer months). By the time he turned 15, he was becoming increasingly suicidal. He started his transition at 18.

    The latest research has found “21 variants in 19 genes in estrogen signaling pathways of the brain critical to establishing whether the brain is masculine.” Those genes are specifically involved “sprinkling” the brain with estrogen right before or after birth. Baby brains sprinkled with estrogen become masculinized. When something goes wrong and the brain isn’t sprinkled, it stays feminized.

    Being transgender isn’t a “feeling”. It is a 100% biological expression of the brain. So, yeah, kids know if they are trapped in the wrong body.

  8. Jess says:

    What a beautiful, 21st century family! There are so many ways to create a family and to live – Charlize and her daughters are a wonderful testament to that. 💕💕

  9. GrnieWnie says:

    I grew up in a racially mixed family and totally agree that learning about black hair is critical. I learned how to do it and I can cornrow but I needed salon ladies to show me how to do box braids and a lot of friends to teach me how to care for black hair. I just do not accept white people adopting black girls or boys and not bothering to deal with their hair or skin. Those kids will be bullied at school, whether they go to a white school or black one, and it’ll have a major impact on their childhood.

  10. Queen Meghan’s Hand says:

    I wonder if one of the women in her community are trans. Probably.
    That she not only sought a black woman community, but speaks about it to a black women’s magazine is really wonderful. Theron is a trans-racial adoption ideal.

  11. paranormalgirl says:

    That video made me want to go home right now (leaving in a few weeks, right after hurricane season ends) and jump off the fly of my friend’s big boat!.

  12. Jennifer M says:

    The more I know about her, the more I like her. I have always stared at her beauty in awe, ever since Cider House Rules. The fact that she is also so intelligent, and strong, and actively working to be a positive force in the world make me REALLY love her. I want president Charlize, like in Long Shot. 🙌 (I don’t really want actor presidents, but I really do like her!)