As the saying goes, "behind every successful man, is a successful woman" so to merge our #MarchOnMen series and International Women's Day, iON are highlighting 5 incredible women behind some of the men we’ve grown to know and love...
Having been married to Will Smith for 20 years, she has never allowed his success to overshadow hers, claiming her own identity aside from just being labelled 'Will Smith’s wife’. One of the pinnacles of 90’s entertainment was centred on our cousin, Fresh Prince of Bel Air. This black family was one of the first on TV to depict an affluent, loving, comedic unit and we can only imagine that The Smith household inhabits these traits too!
Jada held her own limelight aside from Will having turned her talents to music, dance, business, and of course acting. She’s gracefully manages being a loving wife, dedicated and understanding mother and an actress and activist who’s work through her foundation, ‘The Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation' has awarded grants to assist with the development of urban youth and family dynamics. Will’s love and admiration for Jada in undeniable and their marriage continues to be #goals for many of us.
The backbone of one of the most acclaimed Pastors, authors, and inspirational speakers, Bishop TD Jakes. The Potters House ministry spans over 20 years and her authority has consistently grown with it. As one of the founding speakers at his annual conference ‘Women Thou Art Loosed”, her passion for God and uniting and empowering women is generational. Her daughter Sarah, has followed in her parents footsteps and now co-Pastors (in our opinion) one of the most transformational churches in the world, One Church LA.
In an episode of the Bishops new show, 'The TD Jakes Show' on OWN, he invites Serita on stage and it is evident how much he loves respects and protects her. With this foundation on their faith in Jesus Christ, his love demonstrates just as the Bible says “love your wife, as Christ loves the Church.”
You can not talk about Mum slayage with talking about Marjorie Harvey. This women oozes class, elegance and astounding beauty. Having married into an already large family and bringing her own children into the mix, Steve and Marjorie collectively have seven children! Most mums with that much responsibility, take a back seat but for Mrs Harvey, this is just the beginning.
With her fashion blog theladylovescouture.com continuing to evolve, she is definitely a force to be reckoned with in the fashion industry. Her warm and supportive character was evident on Steve Harvey's birthday episode of the Steve Harvey show. When she unexpectedly turned up live on set, the gaze in his eyes was like love at first sight, 10 years later. It's clear that Steve is mesmerised by Marjorie, and with a slay like hers, we are too!
Ever since we heard Justine Simmons answer the phone with "Praise the Lord", we already knew she was a legend! The Commander and Chief in the Rev Run obode, nothing happens under that roof without her approval. From Joey's car choices, Angela and Vanessa's apartments or gifts for Russy and Diggy's school grads, although soft spoken, she has the final word.
Being married to one of the members the most iconic bands in history, she's also pretty talented when it comes to writing rhymes. She's carved out her own lane and is an established speaker and children's book author, God, can you hear me?. Her professional achievements aside, Miss Justine is most proud of being a mother and wife.
Girl from the southside – the original MVP. This women exudes grace, wisdom, beauty. As her husband rightly said in his final address speech as President “you took on a role you didn’t ask for", and her humble spirit denoted how committed and passionate she was to making her role as first lady a legacy in itself. Her 'Let's Move' initiative which focuses on providing health conscious tools to keep families active and have a more balanced diet changed statistics dramatically; alongside the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, she got 1.5 trillion calories cut from the foods supplied by some of America's largest food manufacturers - 3 years ahead of schedule!
Her devotion to her husband and his missions was unwavering and love and commitment to her children, unquestionable. Michelle carries herself with such integrity and sets a global standard for womanhood. Her woman power has affected many changes especially with how women see themselves and the opportunities available to to them irrespective of how they are perceived - “when they go low, we go high”.
These women are trailblazers in their own right, have stuck by their husbands, cared for their children but most importantly have taken responsibility for their own destiny. Their level of success did not depend on their husbands but instead was fuelled for their personal desire to be great, despite of the stereotypes or ideals that suggested otherwise.
Let's not just leave it until International Women's Day to uplift women. Women's empowerment can come from both men and women, so don't be afraid to help light another woman's candle, it doesn't dim the fire from your own.
Happy International Women's Day