At Monday night's (June 17) show, the multi-hyphenate star was honored with the Trailblazer Award, which "recognizes game-changing creators with fresh and fearless voices in entertainment." Presenter Tiffany Haddish spoke to Pinkett Smith's stellar reputation, noting, "She's never stopped pushing boundaries." Alicia Keys and Queen Latifah echoed the same sentiment in a highlight reel showcasing Pinkett Smith's work as an actress, activist, philanthropist, and mother.
And yet, when the Girls Trip star took the stage — accompanied by her son/hype man Jaden — she admitted that she was initially skeptical about accepting the honor.
"It's a trip, because when MTV called me to receive an award for trailblazing, I was like, 'I don't know if I deserve this quite yet,'" she revealed. "But then I had to think — I said, 'Jada, why don't you think you deserve this award?' And it was because I was comparing myself to all the many trailblazers that I admire."
That initial bout of imposter syndrome disappeared, she explained, once she realized that she —and all of us — have something in common with those trailblazers she looks up to.
"Often we applaud the trails people blaze in the external world that we can see, but very rarely do we applaud the trails that are blazed in the hidden rooms of the mind that are full of uncertainty, false beliefs, and pain," she explained. "It's these internal obstacles that must be challenged in order to muster the courage to forge new paths that we can see in the world.
"Every last person in this room must do that in some capacity," the Red Table Talk creator continued. "That means that every single person in this room is trailblazing. So as you honor me tonight, I want to honor all of you. And I want to say, here's to us for all of our trailblazing."
You heard it from Jada: blazing trails is something we're all capable of doing. She has the shiny new Golden Popcorn trophy to prove it.