Is there anything Skai Jackson can’t do?!
The 17-year-old actress, activist and author’s first-ever book “Reach For The Skai” is officially on sale, and to celebrate, we caught up with her to find out how — as the queen of the classy comeback, herself — she hopes to help readers inspire, empower, and clapback in their own lives.
From the advice she’d give to anyone struggling with self-confidence, to the reason why she chose to be so unapologetically candid in every single chapter, and more: Skai, known best for her role in Disney Channel’s “Jessie” and “Bunk’d,” opened up about the inspiration behind her debut page-turner:
“Be yourself, love yourself no matter what, no matter what anyone tells you. You don’t have to try to fit in and be someone that you’re not…That’s the overall message; have a voice, stand up for yourself and use your voice for good.”
Why did you decide to write “Reach For The Skai”?
Skai: Over a year ago, I was in a fitting with my stylist, and a couple of other people…my stylist was like, ‘You know what? It’d be a really good idea if you somehow told your story,’…the idea stemmed from him…he was just like ‘you guys have a story to tell, and I don’t know how you can, but you definitely should.’ And I was like you know what, perfect idea to write a book. That was the moment that I was really all hands-in!
The book is all about sharing your confidence. Where does that fearless sense of self come from?
Skai: I’ve always had confidence, but it was much stronger when I was younger, and then it went down when I was preteen, which I feel like is normal for everyone. [Since then,] I’ve had to grow that confidence back, and writing this book helped me do that! So I would definitely say that confidence was always there, but I had to regain it.
Is there something you wish you’d known as a preteen that you know now?
Skai:I wish I could just tell 10 year-old Skai, ‘you’re going to get a lot of hate on Instagram and you might get a lot of negative comments, but don’t be sad, don’t let that bring you down. Shine through it and just be yourself!’ Everyone gets those negative comments, whether you’re a celebrity or not, and at the time, I would let that get to me, get down and really sad. You don’t want to let that affect you, and your craft and what you’re doing, and it did for me.
Were there other ways you grew and evolved throughout the writing process?
Skai: For sure! I started writing the book over a year ago, so a lot has changed in my life…Writing forces you to reflect back a lot…[looking back at] my upbringing and where I’m from [made me realize all the amazing ways] I really have changed from then until now…Something about writing I wasn’t expecting was how hard it would be to pull those emotions, to remember how you’re feeling and remember every detail…but it was so fun!
A lot of the chapters focus on very real and raw topics that other authors usually shy away from. Are you nervous about opening up in such a huge way?
Skai: I’m not nervous at all! I’m actually really happy that people get to hear that side of me and see it through pictures because I feel like peoplehave a certain perception of me…but sometimes they don’t get to see my personality, not my character’s.
In case you missed it, this is why Skai wants you to take a stand for climate change!