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OPINION: Nara Smith Content Opens the Door for Important Conversations


N Nara Smith is a social media influencer and former model who is popular for her aesthetically pleasing and meticulous cooking videos on various social media platforms. Smith has recently become a viral figure because of her insistence on making homemade meals for her family from scratch. For example, in one of her most popular videos, she goes through the process of making the breakfast cereal, cinnamon toast crunch, from scratch. Her recent presence in the media has faced heavy criticism from viewers about her role as a mother and wife, and her racial identity. 

Trad Wife, or Traditional Wife, content on social media typically centers around women who take on more ‘traditional roles’ within their households based on stereotyped notions determined by society. Trad Wives showcase themselves doing daily tasks like cleaning, caring for their children and cooking full meals completely from scratch while emphasizing perfection in all aspects of their life, including their appearance. The Trad Wife trend has become controversial on social media because they tend to promote harmful stereotypes of women and shame women who are unable to devote their lives solely to their homes. With that being said, Nara Smith’s usual content involves many of the activities that are posted by Trad Wife influencers along with mini vlogs of outings with her husband, Lucky Blue Smith, Get Ready With Me videos, and outfit checks. Because of her content, and seemingly flawless aesthetic, people have outwardly accused and criticized Smith for being a Trad Wife and have even voiced concerns about her role within the home. When I first started watching Smith’s content, I was hooked on her cooking videos and enjoyed watching her make snacks from scratch that would typically be store bought. However, after a while of going down a rabbit hole of her content, I grew a bit concerned with her insistence on making everything from scratch and wondered whether it was truly her personal preference or if it was because of her household dynamics. Nara Smith eventually clarified on TikTok that she cooked for her family because she enjoyed cooking and that shifted my own opinion of Smith from concern to feelings of admiration. 

Since socially constructed ideas and definitions of ‘traditional femininity' place heavy emphasis on nurturing the family and tending to the home, there has often been a disconnect between the white feminist movement and the Black feminist movement. Black women, historically, were stripped of the opportunity to nurture their families and be homemakers, the way that middle-class white women were allowed to because they often had to work to provide for their families which has historically been more widely accepted as a masculine role. The result of Black women having to play both feminine and masculine roles meant that they were usually defeminized since they could not completely fulfill traditionally feminine roles. I feel that Nara Smith faces a lot of criticism for her content because she was able to adhere to these constructed ideas about feminine gender roles as a woman of color and has caused a stir in the racial inequalities created by traditional femininity by showing that Black women are and can be feminine. At the same time, she often displays that her husband helps out just as much around the house. He helps out with their children, doing their hair and other activities with them, and he engages in cooking with Smith or helping her clean up and he continues to work for their family’s income. Not only was Smith able to craft an image for herself that encapsulated her definition of femininity, but she also showed that she was not solely responsible for tasks inside the home as well, therefore she would not comply with the criteria of a Trad Wife. 

In addition to her delegation of household tasks with her husband, I think that is important to note that Nara Smith does not openly criticize other women for not being able to cook and care for their children, unlike some Trad Wife content that exists on the internet. I do believe, however, that people are valid for feeling that her lifestyle is unrealistic, simply because in many cases, it is. Nara Smith is undoubtedly wealthy and lives the lifestyle of someone who is wealthy and has never denied the fact that she has access to resources that others may not have. Because of her lifestyle, people have also questioned Smith’s racial identity and whether or not she was attempting to adhere to white beauty standards by having straightened hair. Smith is a woman of color and that is something that is apparent, however, one of her most recent hairstyles was a straightened bob-length haircut with bangs. Because of this specific hairstyle, she was criticized for not embracing her Blackness. As a Black woman who has attempted a natural hair journey before deciding to get locs, I can say that wearing textured hair naturally is not easy and requires a lot of patience and maintenance. Because of this, some Black women prefer to wear their hair straightened or may stick to protective styles. Nara Smith, like many, has worn her hair in many different styles ranging from natural curls, to boxbraids, to her straightened hairstyles and I feel like that alone negates the accusation that she rejects Black culture.

I am personally disturbed by the internet’s involvement in Nara Smith’s life and the criticisms of her, because I feel like she is receiving a disproportionate amount of backlash in comparison to other Trad Wife content creators. Race, in this instance, is an important factor because of the historical disparity between Black and white women in terms of what is considered feminine in correlation with the disproportionate amount of backlash Smith has received. Smith’s content has remained rather politically neutral and is more consistent with that of a regular vlogger or food content creator, not someone who is openly criticizing other women or rejecting aspects of her identity. I also think that some of the criticism she is facing is due to the fact that she is in an interracial marriage with her husband, Lucky Blue Smith, because often times the media fawns over the couple when he is present versus when Nara Smith makes content by herself. As a Black woman, I enjoy Smith’s videos and the way that she has handled all the criticisms against her by simply proving viewers wrong through her content. However, she has made a few official statements regarding speculations about her character. Despite Nara Smith’s high-class lifestyle, I can appreciate her genuineness in her videos and what she is unintentionally doing as representative of Black femininity. 


By: Elaina Irving, Staff Writer

Graphic by Shae-Lynn Henderson, EICara Smith Content Opens the Door for Important Conversations 

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