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In case you’ve been living under a rock and missed the best thing that’s happened to the internets recently, actor Will Smith has been creating quite the buzz from his new Instagram account. As you can imagine, his posts will have you laughing as hard as you have at any Fresh Prince episode or any of his comedy films.
Although I’ll admit that elevating a man of Hollywood, not knowing what goes on behind closed doors, makes me a little nervous, I am willing to go out on a limb about Will Smith. And while no one is perfect, I’ve pulled five video snippets to highlight why I believe he is worthy of the title: “good man”. If you disagree, don’t @ me, k? Just keep scrolling.
1. He is unapologetically himself.
When we talk about how constricting it can be for men to exist inside the man box, Will gives us an example of masculinity that is non-toxic. When he’s cracking jokes, it’s not at the expense of another person or group of people. He is a physically active man, clearly strong with a commanding voice, but never uses it to overpower others. He displays an authenticity that decries the pretentiousness of his Hollywood peers. He knows how to have fun in a way that includes everyone.
2. He is faithful and loving towards his family, without hesitation.
It is clear that he supports his children, loves them, and encourages their free expression. He dotes on his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and never hesitates to praise her or the rest of his family, oftentimes elevating their stories above his own. He spends a lot of quality time with them and enjoys it … a true family man. And yes, there is obviously a financial privilege present in his life the affords him the choice to spend plenty of time with his family. I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen many in his same position who do not spend that QT with their families. He sees and treats all members of his family as equals and one can see how this emanates outwardly with how he interacts with the world.
3. He gives GREAT life advice!
In another life, Will Smith was a life coach. He’s only been on the gram for a few months and already, several of his clips of sage advice has gone viral. And again, this is another example of how Will Smith is redefining what it means to be a modern man. He is unashamed to admit his fears (in one clip he speaks of his fear of the ocean) and consistently encourages self-growth, introspection, and evolution.
4. He is intentional about his craft and career.
I’m sure there are a few movies he is less than proud of and we won’t go into the evolution of his music career here, but Will Smith’s acting career has largely given men and boys, of all races and backgrounds, strong examples of ‘good men’ to emulate. From biopic to fictional characters, from playing Ali to Dr. Omalu to Chris Gardner, while also giving us a broad range of romantic narratives that are not degrading to women, like that in Seven Pounds and even Hitch. In his recent Netflix movie, Bright, his character explores some very nuanced issues surrounding race and inclusion. You can guarantee that his projects are going to be meaningful, intentional, and worthwhile. He shows that men can use their talents to elevate social issues and help expand notions of manhood and black masculinity in particular.
5. He puts his money where his mouth is.
It is hard to highlight all of Will’s philanthropic work, but The Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation (Tagline to die for: Working to improve lives and better the world through arts, education, sustainability, and social empowerment) is clearly doing a lot to change lives and communities. It’s too much to go in depth here, so I encourage you to take a look at the great work they are doing and consider what it means that they have partnered with My Brother’s Keeper, The Rockefeller Foundation, and most recently JUST Water which “is responsibly sourced, produced and packaged for improved environmental and community impact.” There’s a lot to be said about a man who puts his money and efforts where his mouth is and it is evident in how he is passing those values on to his children. That’s fatherhood with a village mentality.
6. He’s just got the best Dad jokes, amirite???
Check out the parody he made of his son Jaden’s ICON video:
Keep doin’ YOU, Will!
Originally published on Medium.
Photo Credit: Getty Images