I didn’t know Jodie Turner-Smith’s name until yesterday. I wasn’t familiar with her work or her face. I learned Jodie’s name and face when photos surfaced of her walking hand-in-hand with Joshua Jackson. Pacey Witter strolling down the street holding hands with anyone is headline-worthy for me. Pacey Witter strolling down the street holding hands with Jodie Turner-Smith made me stop mid-scroll and smile. Hard. 

I know, I know, two very attractive actors going for a coffee date on a Sunday isn’t a big deal. But for 13-year-old me, Joshua Jackson dating a black girl would have been. When Dawson dated Principal Green’s daughter (the ageless Bianca Lawson), it was a BIG DEAL and I didn’t even like Dawson. Who did? Black women were so underrepresented as romantic interests that it was important to me when I saw someone break those antiquated standards of mainstream, network television – like Angela on Boy Meets World and Nikki Green on Dawson’s Creek. 

I know I’m not alone in my reaction to Joshua and Jodie. This was the response to Joshua and Jodie in my group chat: 

“You know I KNEW I liked that Joshua Jackson with his fine ass” and “OKEH Pacey!” 

LOL. My girlfriends are hilarious. 

This all might seem silly and in a lot of ways, it is. Being the object of affection of a white man shouldn’t be the gold standard and yet, we know that’s what this white-ruled patriarchy we live in has conditioned women to crave. We’re conditioned to stop mid-scroll and be surprised that Joshua Jackson would be dating a beautiful, dark-skinned black woman, like he’s not a straight man with eyes and Jodie Turner-Smith isn’t STUNNING. It shouldn’t be a surprise. It shouldn’t be a big deal but tell that to the amount of times that I’ve heard the words “I don’t date black girls” come out of a man’s mouth. If you’re a black woman who dates, especially if you don’t live in a predominately black space, you’ve probably had to hear the same sh-t or question whether you were someone’s “type.” UGH. Also, if you’re ever questioning that, don’t date him. Just don’t do it. 

Aside from all that, Joshua and Jodie look GOOD together. Look at how happy Joshua is! I love their matching casual looks. Their relaxed aesthetic, and the hand holding, makes me assume that Joshua and Jodie have been dating at least long enough to have a certain level of comfort around each other. Joshua has been casually dating around since his split with Diane Kruger. The Daily Mail put it like this:

Jackson has been linked to a string of women including TV host Alyssa Julya Smith, and model Shafia West. 

So, two women? To me, that doesn’t seem like a “string of women.” Joshua has been open about having to rediscover dating in the digital age and I’ve mentioned before that a friend saw him on Raya. So, he’s swiping right or whatever (can you tell I haven’t dated in the digital age?) a totally normal amount. And right now, he seems to be all about one woman. 

I may not have known Jodie Turner-Smith’s name yesterday but I know it now and I’m obsessed with her. She’s on The Last Ship. She’s about to play GRACE JONES in the Marvin Gaye biopic Sexual Healing with Jesse L. Martin. She’s also starring opposite Daniel Kaluuya in romantic drama Queen & Slim, written by Lena Waithe. Um, yes please. So, Jodie is HOT and she’s apparently got great taste in roles. OK PACEY.

Lainey PS. Fans have been on this for a few weeks now while creeping Jodie’s Instagram stories – they were speculating if this was him after the two were spotted together recently in the Bahamas: