Ever since 12-year-old Willow Smith shaved her head almost a year ago, her famous parents have gotten criticism for letting their daughter express herself in such an admittedly radical way. Moreso the blame seems to land on Willow’s mom Jada Pinkett Smith, as if she’s somehow stumbled as a female role model.
Last week, Jada posted an open letter on her Facebook. While it’s addressed “to a friend,” it’s clear that she’s clearing the air regarding her detractors. The very best point she makes is that it’s never been about whether she “let” Willow go for this makeover. In fact, I kind of love everything she says in this letter:
“This subject is old but I have never answered it in its entirety. And even with this post it will remain incomplete.
“The question why I would LET Willow cut her hair. First the LET must be challenged. This is a world where women,girls are constantly reminded that they don’t belong to themselves; that their bodies are not their own, nor their power or self determination. I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit and her mind are HER domain. Willow cut her hair because her beauty, her value, her worth is not measured by the length of her hair. It’s also a statement that claims that even little girls have the RIGHT to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother’s deepest insecurities, hopes and desires. Even little girls should not be a slave to the preconceived ideas of what a culture believes a little girl should be. More to come. Another day.”
A few months ago when we thought that Willow had gotten her tongue pierced, I made the point that in no universe does Willow need to ask her parents’ permission to do something like that. Now we have proof that that holds true, but that it was all part of Will and Jada’s plan. In fact, in an interview with Parade a few months ago, he said, “If I teach her that I’m in charge of whether or not she can touch her hair, she’s going to replace me with some other man when she goes out in the world.” (A sentiment that Willow obviously echoes in song, since we know that when she does have long hair she likes to whip it back and forth.)
Isn’t it great to see such self-aware celebrity parents?
[via New York Daily News]