Thursday, September 9, 2010

Leave Willow alone!


The topic over the last 24 hours has involved the fashionably talented spawn of Willard and Jada Pinkett-Smith. Willow has been raising eyebrows over the last few months with her style and her hair cut. Most recently, how mature she sounds on her first LP, "Whip My Hair."

Here's my take:

  • On her hair- While it may not be what you typically find on the head of a 9 year old, I can appreciate Will and Jada wanting their kids to have the freedom to express themselves creatively, whether through acting, singing or through their fashions. I mean, we have 4 year olds getting weaves and PERMS. Her having an edgy haircut, in the grand scheme of things, really isn't a big deal.
  • On her fashion- Yes, it's quirky. Yes, it's non-conventional. But as a fellow non-conformist who believes in being authentically yourself, again, kudos to the Smiths for letting her be herself. She isn't hurting anybody with her fashion sense. She's not wearing revealing clothes or makeup. Get over it.
  • On her music- So there's been debate over how "grown" she sounds. How "Whip My Hair" is "too grown". I can understand both sides. The song will be a club banger, no doubt. And I think we keep focusing on her age and how the sound evokes thoughts of grown women and men grinding against each other on cramped dance-floors. Let's be real, though. Do you honestly think either of her parents would let her release ANYTHING inappropriate for a tween? No. If we can get past her age and the audience we think will gravitate towards the song, let's look at it for what it is. A catchy song/hook from a talented young lady during a time where there are NO younger role models in the music industry. Everyone is either an adult and/or singing of suggestive themes that are HIGHLY inappropriate for kids. Yet many of our kids are listening and memorizing lyrics from "Rude Boy", while dancing suggestively to the lyrics. Wouldn't you rather have a young lady who respectively caries herself singing about being okay with being yourself or the former? Exactly.
From Willow's own mouth(courtesy of Caryn Ganz in Stop The Presse and from Yahoo Music Blogs)on the meaning of her song: "It means just be an individual - you can't be afraid to be yourself.... You have to be yourself and you can't let anybody tell you that that's wrong. My mom and me are very strong individuals. Lots of people don't act like themselves, so they're not happy."

Again I ask..... what's wrong with this? Let her be and let her shine. We haven't even given her a chance before making judgments. Our little [Black] girls are idolizing The Jonas Brothers, Justin Bieber, and Miley Cyrus, who has decided that it's okay to wear lingerie and kiss girls on stage as a 17 year old. I think Willow is a refreshing change, and I welcome it. Why not have our girls looking up to girls who look like them and are telling them it's okay to be who you are?

And I'm not gonna lie, I've been playing her track and it's now my ringtone. LOL!

Natural Urbanista


ChocolateOrchid said...

I feel you on the track. It is bangin'.

Great arguments on her part. I'm over folks trippin' on her. I can think of a few young girls who are being raised with little to know guidance and are wide-open. I don't see that with Willow. Her parents seem to be instilling self-value, purpose and high self-esteem in their children. I think its great. And I will continue to respect the Smiths game until and unless I see Willow (or anyone of them) being carted off to rehab or having a baby under-age.

BreukelensFinest said...

i must admit i have been one of the people to give lil willow the side eye when it comes to her hair and fashion but i have to admit that i agree with you about the song. i think that the song comes off as mature because willow is a very mature little girl. you can tell that from interviews and how she sounds when she speaks.

Anonymous said...

fashion disaster. Theres a difference between quirky and tacky. I think you should dress like this when your an adult not a child. She looks older than she should

KP said...

@Alana Tastes in fashion are all perspective. Ones tack is one's style. ;) But it's HER style. And if her parents are fine with it, I'll leave it at that as they seem to be well-grounded. Plus, she's not wearing makeup or wearing anything revealing. I've seen FAR worse on kids her age, so it's better than the latter, imo.

@breukelensfinest I've given her that....look as well in the past. It's not what I'd dress my child in, but that's mostly because I'd stick to cutesy, girly stuff. Willow's an industry child with a mom who isn't fashionably conventional, neither is her older brother, so I didn't expect her to be like typical girls her age. Not the she's an exception, but she's not the gender rule.

@chocolateorchard That's how I feel! I think she has the structure and environment that fosters to that type of development. Until I see her slipping, I'm gonna leave her, her hair and her fashions alone. :)

Thank you all for your comments!

solidice242 said...

I think she is a very brave little girl she has two really famous parents and brother so she would have been in the spotlight in any event but at least now she is doing it on her own terms.