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People often say fathers are a girl’s first love because they set the standard for how a woman should be treated. If that’s true with Idris Elba’s daughter, any man she dates will have big shoes to fill.

The actor recently talked to Essence about the idea of Black Girl Magic since the proud father of two is stepping away from the strong, dominant male roles we’ve come to know him for in his latest stint as the voice of Chief Bogo in Disney’s upcoming animated kid’s movie Zootopia. Asked what kind of heart-to-hearts he has with his daughter Isan who’s now 14, Idris said this:

“My daughter and I speak about having the confidence to believe in your own journey and not to follow others. We speak about that a lot—confidence and belief, and not following anyone else’s shine, but rather following your own shine…It’s really important to have that self-belief and that self-heartbeat.

“I think that, generally, I would say that to any kid. People … all of us, even us as adults, try and kind of get caught up in what other people are doing, and then find ourselves measuring ourselves up against something that isn’t even for us. When you’re a child, or a kid, that’s almost impossible to understand. It’s like, ‘This girl over here has got long hair. I need to have long hair. I don’t know why I haven’t got it …’ Those are hard to navigate around, especially for a teenager. You’re coming into your own.”

That’s a lesson even we as grown women can stand to re-learn, and Idris as well who admitted, “You know that old saying ‘if I knew back then what I know now’? A lot of it would be, ‘I just wish you believed in yourself even more.’” We’re sure Isan won’t have any problems with that.

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