Naomie Harris Portrays Strong Women...And I Love That

Sunday, July 03, 2016

In a recent interview with The Guardian, Naomie Harris, a British actress, made a very bold (and inspiring) statement.

Harris - best known for her parts in Pirates of the Caribbean, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Skyfall and Spectre - said this:

"I portray strong women because that's what I know."

She also said this:
"I’m not interested in playing roles that stereotype me as a woman or as a black woman. I grew up with incredibly strong, powerful women around me who were highly intelligent and doing their own thing, and those are the women I’m interested in portraying because that’s what I know to be the truth. A woman who waits around for a man, pines after them… I don’t have any experience of that kind of woman, so I don’t think I’d be very good at playing that kind of character."

Also, she said this:
"I always had a really strong work ethic. I didn’t need to rely on anybody else financially and I couldn’t anyway – that was never really an option – but I had a strong belief in myself that I could do it on my own. And that’s what got me through."

After reading Naomie Harris' interview, I'm in awe of her.  I admire her and I really do look up to her as a role model for Black women.  I've always been a bit of a 'fan' (do actors/actresses even have fans?) and I've always liked her acting work (she's a very good actress.)

I feel so glad to see a Black woman in the public eye who's willing to go against the stereotypes television and film.  As a Black woman I am so sick and tired of seeing Black women portrayed in a poor and stereotypical manner.  Black women are not confined to the stupid stereotypes.  We are all diverse, and we are a variety of characters.  I am a Black woman with many aspects to my personality and a plethora of interests.  I don't fit in with the ridiculous stereotypes at all!  Also, I'm certainly not the type of woman who waits for a man or pines for one.  I believe in being a strong independent Black woman who does not need to rely on a man, and that's how I choose to live my life.  My identity is defined by me, myself and I, not by the man I'm coupled up with.

I also appreciate the fact that Naomie Harris has a very strong ethic, and it's something she's had from a young age.  I am exactly the same way.  From a young age I had a very strong work ethic and I've always had to work hard for things.  I don't come from a privileged background, I didn't have a cushy childhood, I went through a lot of trauma and adversities and I didn't have things handed to me on a silver platter.  Ok, so I'll admit, in some ways I'm slightly privileged but I've always had to work for everything I have currently (such as holding down a few jobs while studying at university), and in order to achieve my future goals and ambitions I will have to work even harder, and I will have to work smart.  However, I'm glad.  I'm a big believer in merit and I'd rather achieve what I want through my own hard work and efforts, because that makes me so proud, and that proves to me that I'm strong and able to achieve what I want one my own.  When you have to work harder than the average person to achieve particular goals you learn more from that experience, and as a result you grow, progress and develop as a person.

On a final note, I'm grateful that there are role models out there who aim to portray strong Black women in a positive light, and hopefully I shall see more of these role models in the television, theatre and film.

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